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Illustrated by N.C.WYETH 

has n flu 










JAN 2 

— ' 


26 1-2 500 





© C. B. C. 

" For a mile, or thereabouts, my raft ivent very well- 




Digitized by the Internet Archive 

in 2012 with funding from 

University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill 


THE universal fame of The Life and Adventures of Rob- 
inson Crusoe is second only to the Bible. Notwithstand- 
ing its simple narrative style, as well as the absence of the 
supposedly indispensable love motive, no modern book can 
boast of such world-wide esteem. 

Written by Daniel Defoe and published in England in 
1719 by William Taylor, the Life and Adventures won imme- 
diate popularity. Its phenomenal success called forth five re- 
printings in rapid succession. In the following year came 
translations into French, German and Dutch, marking the 
beginning of an unprecedented series of translations into many 
other languages and dialects. 

And now, after two centuries, the story still stands secure 
and enduring — a monumental human document. 

Hundreds of illustrated editions of The Life and Adven- 
tures of Robinson Crusoe have been published, and many 
more will follow, but I, like most illustrators enthusiastic in 
their work, have anticipated for years the opportunity which 
is now offered to me in the present edition. 

The outstanding appeal of this fascinating romance to me 
personally is the remarkably sustained sensation one enjoys 
of Crusoe's contact with the elements — the sea and the 
sun, the night and the storms, the sand, rocks, vegetation 
and animal life. In few books can the reader breathe, live 
and move with his hero so intensely, so easily and so consis- 
tently throughout the narrative. In Robinson Crusoe we 
have it; here is a story that becomes history, history living 
and moving, carrying with it irresistibly the compelling 


motive of a lone man's conquest over what seems to be 
inexorable Fate. 

Do my pictures add a little to the vividness of this story? 
Do I aid a little in the clearer vizualization of Robinson Crusoe 
as he moves about on his sunny island ? That is the most I can 
hope for. 

N. C. Wyeth. 
Chadd'sFord, Pa., 1920. 




Robinson's Family — His Elopement from His Parents . . . . l 


First Adventures at Sea — Experience of a Maritime Life — Voy- 
age to Guinea g 


Robinson's Captivity at Sallee — Escape with Xury— Arrival at 

the Brazils 21 


He Settles in the Brazils as a Planter — Makes Another Voy- 
age and Is Shipwrecked 42 


Robinson Finds Himself on a Desolate Island and Procures a 
Stock of Articles from the Wreck — He Constructs His 
Habitation 61 


Robinson Carries All His Riches, Provisions, Etc., into His Habi- 
tation — Dreariness of Solitude — Consolatory Reflections . 77 


Robinson's Mode of Reckoning Time — Difficulties Arising from 

Want of Tools — He Arranges His Habitation 83 


Robinson's Journal — Details of His Domestic Economy and Con- 
trivances — Shock of an Earthquake 91 



Robinson Obtains More Articles from the Wreck — His Illness 

and Affliction 109 


His Recovery — His Comfort in Reading the Scriptures — He 
Makes an Excursion into the Interior of the Island — Forms 
His "Bower" 120 


Robinson Makes a Tour to Explore His Island — Employed in 

Basket Making 139 


He Returns to His Cave — His Agricultural Labors and Success . 146 

His Manufacture of Pottery, and Contrivances for Baking Bread 157 


Meditates His Escape from the Island — Builds a Canoe — Failure 
of His Scheme and Resignation to His Condition — He Makes 
Himself a New Dress 164 


He Makes a Smaller Canoe in Which He Attempts to Cruise 
Round the Island — His Perilous Situation at Sea — He Re- 
turns Home 180 


He Rears a Flock of Goats — His Diary — His Domestic Habits and 

Style of Living — Increasing Prosperity 192 



Unexpected Alarm — Cause for Apprehension — He Fortifies His 

Abode 20S 


Precautions Against Surprise — Robinson Discovers that His 

Island Has Been Visited by Cannibals 215 


Robinson Discovers a Cave, Which Serves Him as a Retreat 

Against the Savages 229 


Another Visit of the Savages — Robinson Sees Them Dancing — He 

Perceives the Wreck of a Vessel 240 


He Visits the Wreck and Obtains Many Stores from it — Again 

Thinks of Quitting the Island — Has a Remarkable Dream . 249 


Robinson Rescues One of Their Captives from the Savages, Whom 

He Names Friday, and Makes His Servant 266 


Robinson Instructs and Civilizes His Man Friday and Endeavors 

to Give Him an Idea of Christianity 279 



Robinson and Friday Build a Canoe to Carry Them to Friday's 
Country — Their Scheme Prevented by the Arrival of a 
Party of Savages 294 


Robinson Releases a Spaniard — Friday Discovers His Father — 
Accommodation Provided for These New Guests, Who Were 
Afterward Sent to Liberate the Other Spaniards — Arrival 
of an English Vessel 310 


Robinson Discovers Himself to the English Captain — Assists Him 

in Reducing His Mutinous Crew, Who Submit to Him . . 335 


Atkins Entreats the Captain to Spare His Life — The Latter Re- 
covers His Vessel from the Mutineers, and Robinson Leaves 
the Island 355 


"For a mile, or thereabouts, my raft went very well — " Frontispiece 


"My father, a wise and grave man, gave me serious and excellent 

counsel against what he foresaw was my design" .... 2 

" — and making it into a great cross, I set it up on the shore where 

I first landed—" 84 

'All this while I sat upon the ground, very much terrified and 

dejected" 106 

"In the morning I took the Bible ; and beginning at the New Testa- 
ment, I began seriously to read it — " 126 

"I reaped it my way, for I cut nothing off but the ears, and car- 
ried it away in a great basket which I had made" . . . 154 

" — and thus I every now and then took a little voyage upon the 

sea" 182 

"I stood like one thunderstruck, or as if I had seen an apparition" 204 

"I laid me down flat on my belly on the ground, and began to look 

for the place" 242 

" — and then he kneeled down again, kissed the ground, and taking 

me by the foot, set my foot upon his head" .. . 270 


" — we cut and hewed the outside into the true shape of a boat" . 302 

" — and no sooner had he the arms in his hands but, as if they had 
put new vigor into him, he flew upon his murderers like a 
fury" 312 

"At first, for some time I was not able to answer him one word ; 
but as he had taken me in his arms, I held fast by him, or I 
should have fallen to the ground" 362 

Note. The paintmgs by Mr. N. C. Wyeth, reproduced, 
in this volume, are fully protected by copyright. 




Robinson's Family — His Elopement from His Parents 

I WAS born in the year 1632, in the city of York, of a good 
family, though not of that country, my father being a 
foreigner of Bremen, who settled first at Hull. He got 
a good estate by merchandise, and leaving off his trade, lived 
afterward at York, from whence he had married my mother, 
whose relations were named Robinson, a very good family in 
that country, and from whom I was called Robinson Kreutz- 
naer ; but by the usual corruption of words in England we are 
now called, nay, we call ourselves, and write our name, Crusoe, 
and so my companions always called me. 

I had two elder brothers, one of which was lieutenant-colonel 
to an English regiment of foot in Flanders, formerly com- 
manded by the famous Colonel Lockhart, and was killed at 
the battle near Dunkirk against the Spaniards; what became 
of my second brother I never knew, any more than my father 
and mother did know what was become of me. 

Being the third son of the family, and not bred to any trade, 
my head began to be filled very early with rambling thoughts. 
My father, who was very old, had given me a competent share 
of learning, as far as house-education and a country free 



school generally goes, and designed me for the law; but I 
would be satisfied with nothing but going to sea; and my in- 
clination to this led me so strongly against the will, nay, the 
commands, of my father, and against all the entreaties and 
persuasions of my mother and other friends, that there seemed 
to be something fatal in that propension of nature tending 
directly to the lie of misery which was to befall me. 

My father, a wise and grave man, gave me serious and ex- 
cellent counsel against what he foresaw was my design. He 
called me one morning into his chamber, where he was con- 
fined by the gout, and expostulated very warmly with me upon 
this subject. He asked me what reasons more than a mere 
wandering inclination I had for leaving my father's house and 
my native country, where I might be well introduced, and had 
a prospect of raising my fortunes by application and indus- 
try, with a life of ease and pleasure. He told me it was for 
men of desperate fortunes on one hand, or of aspiring, superior 
fortunes on the other, who went abroad upon adventures, to 
rise by enterprise, and make themselves famous in undertak- 
ings of a nature out of the common road; that these things 
were all either too far above me, or too far below me; that 
mine was the middle state or what might be called the upper 
station of low life, which he had found by long experience was 
the best state in the world, the most suited to human happi- 
ness, not exposed to the miseries and hardships, the labor and 
sufferings, of the mechanic part of mankind, and not em- 
barrassed with the pride, luxury, ambition, and envy of the 
upper part of mankind. He told me I might judge of the 


Ill HlBW 


SPfPfi ^^ 

© C B C. 

" My father, a wise and grave man, gave me serious and excellent counsel 
against what he foresaw was my design" 


happiness of this state by this one thing, viz., that this was 
the state of life which all other people envied; that kings have 
frequently lamented the miserable consequences of being born 
to great things, and wished they had been placed in the middle 
of the two extremes, between the mean and the great ; that the 
wise man gave his testimony to this as the just standard of true 
felicity, when he prayed to have neither poverty nor riches. 

He bid me observe it, and I should always find, that the 
calamities of life were shared among the upper and lower part 
of mankind; but that the middle station had the fewest dis- 
asters, and was not exposed to so many vicissitudes as the 
higher or lower part of mankind. Nay, they were not sub- 
jected to so many distempers and uneasiness either of body 
or mind as those were who, by vicious living, luxury, and ex- 
travagances on one hand, or by hard labor, want of necessar- 
ies, and mean or insufficient diet on the other hand, bring dis- 
tempers upon themselves by the natural consequences of their 
way of living; that the middle station of life was calculated 
for all kind of virtues and all kind of enjoyments; that peace 
and plenty were the handmaids of a middle fortune ; that tem- 
perance, moderation, quietness, health, society, all agreeable di- 
versions, and all desirable pleasures, were the blessings attend- 
ing the middle station of life ; that this way men went silently 
and smoothly through the world, and comfortably out of it, 
not embarrassed with the labors of the hands or of the head, 
not sold to the life of slavery for daily bread, or harassed with 
perplexed circumstances, which rob the soul of peace, and the 
body of rest; not enraged with the passion of envy, or secret 



burning lust of ambition for great things; but in easy cir- 
cumstances sliding gently through the world, and sensibly tast- 
ing the sweets of living, without the bitter, feeling that they are 
happy, and learning by every day's experience to know it more 

After this, he pressed me earnestly, and in the most affection- 
ate manner, not to play the young man, not to precipitate my- 
self into miseries which Nature and the station of life I was 
born in seemed to have provided against ; that I was under no 
necessity of seeking my bread; that he would do well for me, 
and endeavor to enter me fairly into the station of life which 
he had been just recommending to me; and that if I was not 
very easy and happy in the world it must be my mere fate or 
fault that must hinder it, and that he should have nothing to 
answer for, having thus discharged his duty in warning me 
against measures which he knew would be to my hurt; in a 
word, that as he would do very kind things for me if I would 
stay and settle at home as he directed, so he would not have 
so much hand in my misfortunes, as to give me any encourage- 
ment to go away. And to close all, he told me I had my elder 
brother for an example, to whom he had used the same earnest 
persuasions to keep him from going into the Low Country 
wars, but could not prevail, his young desires prompting him 
to run into the army, where he was killed ; and though he said 
he would not cease to pray for me, yet he would venture to 
say to me, that if I did take this foolish step, God would not 
bless me, and I would have leisure hereafter to reflect upon 



having neglected his counsel when there might be none to assist 
in my recovery. 

I observed in this last part of his discourse, which was truly 
prophetic, though I suppose my father did not know it to be 
so himself — I say, I observed the tears run down his face very 
plentifully, and especially when he spoke of my brother who 
was killed; and that when he spoke of my having leisure to 
repent, and none to assist me, he was so moved, that he broke 
off the discourse, and told me, his heart was so full he could 
say no more to me. 

I was sincerely affected with this discourse, as, indeed, who 
could be otherwise ; and I resolved not to think of going abroad 
any more, but to settle at home according to my father's desire. 

But alas ! a few days wore it all off ; and, in short, to prevent 
any of my father's farther importunities, in a few weeks after 
I resolved to run quite away from him. However, I did not 
act so hastily neither as my first heat of resolution prompted, 
but I took my mother, at a time when I thought her a little 
pleasanter than ordinary, and told her, that my thoughts were 
so entirely bent upon seeing the world, that I should never 
settle to anything with resolution enough to go through with 
it, and my father had better give me his consent than force me 
to go without it ; that I was now eighteen years old, which was 
too late to go apprentice to a trade, or clerk to an attorney ; that 
I was sure if I did, I should never serve out my time, and I 
should certainly run away from my master before my time 
was out, and go to sea; and if she would speak to my father 



to let me go but one voyage abroad, if I came home again and 
did not like it, I would go no more, and I would promise by 
a double diligence to recover that time I had lost. 

This put my mother into a great passion. She told me, she 
knew it would be to no purpose to speak to my father upon 
any such subject; that he knew too well what was my in- 
terest to give his consent to anything so much for my hurt, 
and that she wondered how I could think of any such thing 
after such a discourse as I had had with my father, and such 
kind and tender expressions as she knew my father had used 
to me ; and that, in short, if I would ruin myself there was no 
help for me ; but I might depend I should never have their con- 
sent to it; that for her part, she would not have so much hand 
in my destruction, and I should never have it to say that my 
mother was willing when my father was not. 

Though my mother refused to move it to my father, yet, as 
I have heard afterwards, she reported all the discourse to him, 
and that my father, after showing a great concern at it, said to 
her with a sigh, "That boy might be happy if he would stay at 
home, but if he goes abroad he will be the miserablest wretch 
that was ever born: I can give no consent to it." 

It was not till almost a year after this that I broke loose, 
though in the meantime I continued obstinately deaf to all 
proposals of settling to business, and frequently expostulating 
with my father and mother about their being so positively 
determined against what they knew my inclinations prompted 
me to. But being one day at Hull, where I went casually, 
and without any purpose of making an elopement that time; 



but I say, being there, and one of my companions being going 
by sea to London, in his father's ship, and prompting me to go 
with them, with the common allurement of sea-faring men, viz., 
that it should cost me nothing for my passage, I consulted 
neither father nor mother any more, nor so much as sent them 
word of it ; but leaving them to hear of it as they might, with- 
out asking God's blessing, or my father's, without any con- 
sideration of circumstances or consequences, and in an ill hour, 
God knows. 



First Adventures at Sea — Experience of a Maritime Life — . 
Voyage to Guinea 

ON the 1st of September, 1651, I went on board a ship 
bound for London. Never any young adventurer's 
misfortunes, I believe, began sooner, or continued 
longer than mine. The ship was no sooner gotten out of the 
Humber, but the wind began to blow, and the waves to rise 
in a most frightful manner; and as I had never been at sea 
before, I was most inexpressibly sick in body, and terrified in 
my mind. I began now seriously to reflect upon what I had 
done, and how justly I was overtaken by the judgment of 
heaven for my wickedness in leaving my father's house, and 
abandoning my duty; all the good counsel of nry parents, my 
father's tears and my mother's entreaties, came now fresh into 
my mind, and my conscience, which was not yet come to the 
pitch of hardness which it has been since, reproached me with 
the contempt of advice, and the breach of my dutj^ to God and 
my father. 

All this while the storm increased, and the sea, which I had 
never been upon before, went very high, though nothing like 
what I have seen many times since; no, nor like what I saw a 
few days after. But it was enough to affect me then, who was 
but a young sailor, and had never known anything of the mat- 
ter. I expected every wave would have swallowed us up, and 
that every time the ship fell down, as I thought, in the trough 



or hollow of the sea, we should never rise more; and in this 
agony of mind I made many vows and resolutions, that if it 
would please God here to spare my life this one voyage, if 
ever I once got my foot upon dry land again, I would go 
directly home to my father, and never set it into a ship again 
while I lived ; that I would take his advice, and never run my- 
self into such miseries as these any more. Now I saw plainly 
the goodness of his observations about the middle station of 
life, how easy, how comfortably he had lived all his days, and 
never had been exposed to tempests at sea, or troubles on shore ; 
and I resolved that I would, like a true repenting prodigal, go 
home to my father. 

These wise and sober thoughts continued all the while the 
storm continued, and indeed some time after ; but the next day 
the wind was abated and the sea calmer, and I began to be a 
little inured to it. However, I was very grave for all that day, 
being also a little sea-sick still; but towards night the weather 
cleared up, the wind was quite over, and a charming fine eve- 
ning followed; the sun went down perfectly clear, and rose so 
the next morning; and having little or no wind, and a smooth 
sea, the sun shining upon it, the sight was, as I thought, the 
most delightful that ever I saw. 

I had slept well in the night, and was now no more sea-sick 
but very cheerful, looking with wonder upon the sea that was 
so rough and terrible the day before, and could be so calm and 
so pleasant in so little time after. And now lest my good 
resolutions should continue, my companion, who had indeed 
enticed me away, came to me: "Well, Bob," said he, clapping 



me on the shoulder, "how do you do after it? I warrant you 
were frightened, wa'n't you, last night, when it blew but a 
capful of wind?" "A capful, d'you call it?" said I; " 'twas a 
terrible storm." "A storm, you fool you," replied he; "do you 
call that a storm? Why, it was nothing at all; give us but a 
good ship and sea-room, and we think nothing of such a squall 
of wind as that; but you're but a fresh-water sailor, Bob. 
Come, let us make a bowl of punch, and we'll forget all that; 
d'ye see what charming weather 'tis now?" To make short this 
sad part of my story, we went the old way of all sailors; the 
punch was made, and I was made drunk with it, and in that 
one night's wickedness I drowned all my repentance, all my 
reflections upon my past conduct, and all my resolutions for 
my future. In a word, as the sea was returned to its smooth- 
ness of surface and settled calmness by the abatement of that 
storm, so the hurry of my thoughts being over, my fears and 
apprehensions of being swallowed up by the sea being forgot- 
ten, and the current of my former desires returned, I entirely 
forgot the vows and promises that I made in my distress. I 
found indeed some intervals of reflection, and the serious 
thoughts did, as it were, endeavor to return again sometimes; 
but I shook them off, and roused myself from them as it were 
from a distemper, and applying myself to drink and company, 
soon mastered the return of those fits, for so I called them, and 
I had in five or six days got as complete a victory over con- 
science as any young fellow that resolved not to be troubled 
with it could desire. But I was to have another trial for it 
still ; and Providence, as in such cases generally it does, resolved 



to leave me entirely without excuse. For if I would not take 
this for a deliverance, the next was to be such a one as the worst 
and most hardened wretch among us would confess both the 
danger and the mercy. 

The sixth day of our being at sea we came into Yarmouth 
Roads; the wind having been contrary and the weather calm, 
we had made but little way since the storm. Here we were 
obliged to come to an anchor, and here we lay, the wind con- 
tinuing contrary, viz., at south-west, for seven or eight days, 
during which time a great many ships from Newcastle came 
into the same roads, as the common harbor where the ships 
might wait for a wind for the river. 

We had not, however, rid here so long, but should have 
tided it up the river, but that the wind blew too fresh; and 
after we had lain four or five days, blew very hard. However, 
the roads being reckoned as good as a harbor, the anchorage 
good, and our ground-tackle very strong, our men were un- 
concerned, and not in the least apprehensive of danger, but 
spent the time in rest and mirth, after the manner of the sea ; 
but the eighth day in the morning the wind increased, and we 
had all hands at work to strike our top-masts, and make every- 
thing snug and close, that the ship might ride as easy as possi- 
ble. By noon the sea went very high indeed, and our ship 
rid forecastle in, shipped several seas, and we thought once or 
twice our anchor had come home; upon which our master or- 
dered out the sheet-anchor, so that we rode with two anchors 
ahead, and the cables veered out to the bitter end. 

By this time it blew a terrible storm indeed, and now I 



began to see terror and amazement in the faces even of the 
seamen themselves. The master, though vigilant to the busi- 
ness of preserving the ship, yet as he went in and out of his 
cabin by me, I could hear him softly to himself say several 
times, "Lord be merciful to us, we shall be all lost, we shall be 
all undone"; and the like. During these first hurries I was 
stupid, lying still in my cabin, which was in the steerage, and 
cannot describe my temper ; I could ill re-assume the first peni- 
tence, which I had so apparently trampled upon, and hardened 
myself against; I thought the bitterness of death had been 
past, and that this would be nothing too, like the first. But 
when the master himself came by me, as I said just now, and 
said we should be all lost, I was dreadfully frightened; I got 
up out of my cabin, and looked out. But such a dismal sight 
I never saw; the sea went mountains high, and broke upon us 
every three or four minutes ; when I could look about, I could 
see nothing but distress round us. Two ships that rode near 
us we found had cut their masts by the board, being deep laden ; 
and our men cried out, that a ship which rode about a mile 
ahead of us was foundered. Two more ships being driven 
from their anchors, were run out of the roads to sea at all 
adventures, and that with not a mast standing. The light 
ships fared the best, as not so much laboring in the sea; but 
two or three of them drove, and came close by us, running 
away with only their sprit-sail out before the wind. 

Toward evening the mate and boatswain begged the master 
of our ship to let them cut away the fore-mast, which he was 
very unwilling to. But the boatswain protesting to him that 



if he did not the ship would founder, he consented; and when 
they had cut away the fore-mast, the main-mast stood so loose, 
and shook the ship so much, they were obliged to cut her away 
also, and make a clear deck. 

Any one may judge what a condition I must be in at all 
this, who was but a young sailor, and who had been in such a 
fright before at but a little. But if I can express at this dis- 
tance the thoughts I had about me at that time, I was in 
tenfold more horror of mind upon account of my former con- 
victions, and the having returned from them to the resolutions 
I had wickedly taken at first, than I was at death itself; and 
these, added to the terror of the storm, put me into such a con- 
dition, that I can by no words describe it. But the worst was 
not come yet ; the storm continued with such fury, that the sea- 
men themselves acknowledged they had never known a worse. 

We had a good ship, but she was deep laden, and wallowed 
in the sea, that the seamen every now and then cried out she 
would founder. It was my advantage in one respect, that I 
did not know what they meant by founder till I inquired. 

However, the storm was so violent, that I saw what is not 
often seen, the master, the boatswain, and some others more sen- 
sible than the rest, at their prayers, and expecting every mo- 
ment that the ship would go to the bottom. In the middle of 
the night, and under all the rest of our distresses, one of the men 
that had been down on the purpose to see cried out we had 
sprung a leak ; another said there was four foot of water in the 
hold. Then all hands were called to the pump. At that very 
word my heart, as I thought, died within me, and I fell back 



wards upon the side of my bed where I sat, into the cabin. 
However, the men roused me, and told me, that I, that was 
able to do nothing before, was as well able to pump as an- 
other ; at which I stirred up and went to the pump and worked 
very heartily. While this was doing, the master seeing some 
light colliers, who, not able to ride out the storm, were obliged 
to slip and run away to sea, and would come near us, ordered to 
fire a gun as a signal of distress. I, who knew nothing what 
that meant, was so surprised that I thought the ship had broke, 
or some dreadful thing had happened. In a word, I was so 
surprised that I fell down in a swoon. As this was a time when 
everybody had his own life to think of, nobody minded me, or 
what was become of me; but another man stepped up to the 
pump, and thrusting me aside with his foot, let me lie, thinking 
I had been dead ; and it was a great while before I came to my- 

We worked on, but the water increasing in the hold, it was 
apparent that the ship would founder, and though the storm 
began to abate a little, yet as it was not possible she could swim 
till we might run into a port, so the master continued firing 
guns for help; and a light ship, who had rid it out just ahead 
of us, ventured a boat out to help us. It w T as with the utmost 
hazard the boat came near us, but it was impossible for us to 
get on board, or for the boat to lie near the ship's side, till at 
last the men rowing very heartily, and venturing their lives to 
save ours, our men cast them a rope over the stern with a buoy 
to it, and then veered it out a great length, which they after 
oreat labor and hazard took hold of, and we hauled them close 



under our stern, and got all into their boat. It was to no pur- 
pose for them or us after we were in the boat to think of reach- 
ing to their own ship, so all agreed to let her drive, and only to 
pull her in towards shore as much as we could, and our master 
promised them that if the boat was staved upon shore he would 
make it good to their master ; so partly rowing and partly driv- 
ing, our boat went away to the norward, sloping towards the 
shore almost as far as Winterton Ness. 

We were not much more than a quarter of an hour out of 
our ship but we saw her sink, and then I understood for the 
first time what was meant by a ship foundering in the sea. I 
must acknowledge I had hardly eyes to look up when the sea- 
men told me she was sinking ; for from that moment they rather 
put me into the boat than that I might be said to go in ; my heart 
was as it were dead within me, partly with fright, partly with 
horror of mind and the thoughts of what was yet before me. 

While we were in this condition, the men yet laboring at 
the oar to bring the boat near the shore, we could see, when, 
our boat mounting the waves, we were able to see the shore, a 
great many people running along the shore to assist us when 
we should come near. But we made but slow way towards the 
shore, nor were we able to reach the shore, till being past the 
lighthouse at Winterton, the shore falls off to the westward 
towards Cromer, and so the land broke off a little the violence 
of the wind. Here we got in, and though not without much 
difficulty got all safe on shore, and walked afterwards on foot 
to Yarmouth, where, as unfortunate men, we were used with 
great humanity as well by the magistrates of the town, who 



assigned us good quarters, as by particular merchants and 
owners of ships, and had money given us sufficient to carry us 
either to London or back to Hull, as we thought fit. 

Had I now had the sense to have gone back to Hull and 
have gone home, I had been happy, and my father, an emblem 
of our blessed Savior's parable, had even killed the fatted calf 
for me ; for hearing the ship I went away in was cast away in 
Yarmouth Road, it was a great while before he had any assur- 
ance that I was not drowned. 

But my ill-fate pushed me on now with an obstinacy that 
nothing could resist ; and though I had several times loud calls 
from my reason and my more composed judgment to go home, 
yet I had no power to do it. I know not what to call this, nor 
will I urge that it is a secret overruling decree that hurries us 
on to be the instruments of our own destruction, even though 
it be before us, and that we rush upon it with our eyes open. 
Certainly nothing but some such decreed unavoidable misery 
attending, and which it was impossible for me to escape, could 
have pushed me forward against the calm reasonings and per- 
suasions of my most retired thoughts, and against two such 
visible instructions as I had met with in my first attempt. 

My comrade, who had helped to harden me before, and who 
was the master's son, was now less forward than I. The first 
time he spoke to me after we were at Yarmouth, which was not 
till two or three days, for we were separated in the town to 
several quarters — I say, the first time he saw me, it appeared 
his tone was altered, and looking very melancholy and shak- 
ing his head, asked me how I did, and telling his father who 



I was, and how I had come this voyage only for a trial in order 
to get farther abroad, his father turning to me with a very 
grave and concerned tone, "Young man," said he, "you ought 
never to go to sea any more, you ought to take this for a plain 
and visible token, that you are not to be a seafaring man." 
"Why, sir," said I, "will you go to sea no more?" "That is 
another case," said he; "it is my calling, and therefore, my duty; 
but as you made this voyage for a trial, you see what a taste 
Heaven has given you of what you are to expect if you persist ; 
perhaps this is all befallen us on your account, like Jonah in 
the ship of Tarshish. Pray," continued he, "what are you? 
and on what account did you go to sea?" Upon that I told 
him some of my story, at the end of which he burst out with 
a strange kind of passion. "What had I done," said he, "that 
such an unhappy wretch should come into my ship? I would 
not set my foot in the same ship with thee again for a thou- 
sand pounds." This indeed was, as I said, an excursion of 
his spirits, which were yet agitated by the sense of his loss, 
and was farther than he could have authority to go. However, 
he afterwards talked very gravely to me, exhorted me to go 
back to my father, and not tempt Providence to my ruin; 
told me I might see a visible hand of Heaven against me. 
"And, young man," said he, "depend upon it, if you do not 
go back, wherever you go you will meet with nothing but dis- 
asters and disappointments, till your father's words are fulfilled 
upon you." 

We parted soon after; for I made him little answer, and 
I saw him no more; which way he went, I know not. As 



for me, having some money in my pocket, I travelled to Lon- 
don by land; and there, as well as on the road, had many 
struggles with myself what course of life I should take, and 
whether I should go home, or go to sea. 

As to going home, shame opposed the best motions that 
offered to my thoughts; and it immediately occurred to me 
how I should be laughed at among the neighbors, and should 
be ashamed to see, not my father and mother only, but even 
everybody else; from whence I have since often observed how 
incongruous and irrational the common temper of mankind is, 
especially of youth, to that reason which ought to guide them 
in such cases, viz., that they are not ashamed to sin, and yet 
are ashamed to repent; not ashamed of the action for which 
they ought justly to be esteemed fools, but are ashamed of the 
returning, which only can make them be esteemed wise men. 

In this state of life, however, I remained some time, uncer- 
tain what measures to take, and what course of life to lead. An 
irresistible reluctance continued to going home ; and as I stayed 
a while, the remembrance of the distress I had been in wore 
off; and as that abated, the little motion I had in my desires 
to return wore off with it, till at last I quite laid aside the 
thoughts of it, and looked out for a voyage. 

That evil influence which carried me first away from my 
father's house, that hurried me into the wild and indigested 
notion of raising my fortune, and that impressed those con- 
ceits so forcibly upon me as to make me deaf to all good 
advice, and to the entreaties and even command of my father 
— I say, the same influence, whatever it was, presented the 



most unfortunate of all enterprises to my view ; and I went on 
board a vessel bound to the coast of Africa, or, as our sailors 
vulgarly call it, a voyage to Guinea. 

It was my great misfortune that in all these adventures I 
did not ship myself as a sailor, whereby, though I might in- 
deed have worked a little harder than ordinary, yet at the same 
time I had learned the duty and office of a foremast man, and 
in time might have qualified myself for a mate or lieutenant, 
if not for a master. But as it was always my fate to choose 
for the worse, so I did here; for having money in my pocket, 
and good clothes upon my back, I would always go on board 
in the habit of a gentleman; and so I neither had any busi- 
ness in the ship, or learned to do any. 

It was my lot first of all to fall into pretty good com- 
pany in London, which does not always happen to such loose 
and misguided young fellows as I then was ; the devil generally 
not omitting to lay some snare for them very early; but it was 
not so with me. I first fell acquainted with the master of a 
ship who had been on the coast of Guinea, and who, having 
had very good success there, was resolved to go again ; and who, 
taking a fancy to my conversation, which was not at all dis- 
agreeable at that time, hearing me say I had a mind to see the 
world, told me if I would go the voyage with him I should 
be at no expense ; I should be his messmate and his companion ; 
and if I could carry anything with me, I should have all the 
advantage of it that the trade would permit, and perhaps I 
might meet with some encouragement. 

I embraced the offer, and, entering into a strict friend- 



ship with this captain, who was an honest and plain-dealing 
man, I went the voyage with him, and carried a small adventure 
with me, which, by the disinterested honesty of my friend the 
captain, I increased very considerably, for I carried about £40 
in such toys and trifles as the captain directed me to buy. This 
£40 I had mustered together by the assistance of some of my 
relations whom I corresponded with, and who, I believe, got my 
father, or at least my mother, to contribute so much as that to 
my first adventure. 

This was the only voyage which I may say was successful 
in all my adventures, and which I owe to the integrity and 
honesty of my friend the captain; under whom also I got a 
competent knowledge of the mathematics and the rules of 
navigation, learned how to keep an account of the ship's course, 
take an observation, and, in short, to understand some things 
that were needful to be understood by a sailor. For, as he 
took delight to introduce me, I took delight to learn ; and, in a 
word, this voyage made me both a sailor and a merchant; for 
I brought home five pounds nine ounces of gold dust for my 
adventure, which yielded me in London at my return almost 
£300, and this filled me with those aspiring thoughts which 
have since so completed my ruin. 

Yet even in this voyage I had my misfortunes too; par- 
ticularly, that I was continually sick, being thrown into a 
violent fever by the excessive heat of the climate ; our principal 
trading being upon the coast, from the latitude of 15 degrees 
north even to the line itself. 



Robinson's Captivity at Sallee — Escape with Xury — Arrival at the 


I WAS now set up for a Guinea trader; and my friend, to 
my great misfortune, dying soon after his arrival, I re- 
solved to go the same voyage again, and I embarked in the 
same vessel with one who was his mate in the former voyage, 
and had now got the command of the ship. This was the un- 
happiest voyage, that ever man made; for though I did not 
carry quite £100 of my new-gained wealth, so that I had £200 
left, and which I lodged with my friend's widow, who was 
very just to me, yet I fell into terrible misfortunes in this voy- 
age ; and the first was this, viz., our ship making her course to- 
ward the Canary Islands, or rather between those islands and 
the African shore, was surprised in the gray of the morning 
by a Turkish rover of Sallee, who gave chase to us with all the 
sail she could make. We crowded also as much canvas as our 
yards would spread, or our masts carry, to have got clear ; but 
finding the pirate gained upon us, and would certainly come up 
with us in a few hours, we prepared to fight, our ship having 
twelve guns, and the rogue eighteen. About three in the 
afternoon he came up with us, and bringing to, by mistake, 
just athwart our quarter, instead of athwart our stern, as he 
intended, we brought eight of our guns to bear on that side, 



and poured in a broadside upon him, which made him sheer off 
again, after returning our fire and pouring in also his small- 
shot from near 200 men which he had on board. However, 
we had not a man touched, all our men keeping close. He 
prepared to attack us again, and we to defend ourselves ; but 
laying us on board the next time upon our other quarter, he 
entered sixty men upon our decks, who immediately fell to cut- 
ting and hacking the decks and rigging. We plied them with 
small-shot, half-pikes, powder-chests, and such like, and cleared 
our deck of them twice. However, to cut short this melancholy 
part of our story, our ship being disabled, and three of our 
men killed and eight wounded, we were obliged to yield, and 
were carried all prisoners into Sallee, a port belonging to the 

The usage I had there was not so dreadful as at first I 
apprehended, nor was I carried up the country to the em- 
peror's court, as the rest of our men were, but was kept by the 
captain of the rover as his proper prize, and made his slave, 
being young and nimble, and fit for his business. At this 
surprising change of my circumstances from a merchant to a 
miserable slave, I was perfectly overwhelmed ; and now I looked 
back upon my father's prophetic discourse to me, that I should 
be miserable, and have none to relieve me, which I thought 
was now so effectually brought to pass, that it could not be 
worse; that now the hand of Heaven had overtaken me, and 
I was undone without redemption. But alas; this was but a 
taste of the misery I was to go through, as will appear in the 
sequel of this story. 



As my new patron, or master, had taken me home to his 
house, so I was in hopes that he would take me with him when 
he went to sea again, believing that it would some time or other 
be his fate to be taken by a Spanish or Portuguese man-o'-war ; 
and that then I should be set at liberty. But this hope of mine 
was soon taken away ; for when he went to sea, he left me on 
shore to look after his little garden, and do the common drudg- 
ery of slaves about his house; and when he came home again 
from his cruise, he ordered me to lie in the cabin to look after 
the ship. 

Here I meditated nothing but my escape, and what method 
I might take to effect it, but found no way that had the least 
probability in it. Nothing presented to make the supposition 
of it rational; for I had nobody to communicate it to that 
would embark with me, no fellow-slave, no Englishman, Irish- 
man, or Scotsman there but myself; so that for two years, 
though I often pleased myself with the imagination, yet I 
never had the least encouraging prospect of putting it in prac- 

After about two years an odd circumstance presented itself, 
which put the old thought of making some attempt for my 
liberty again in my head. My patron lying at home longer 
than usual without fitting out his ship, which, as I heard, was 
for want of money, he used constantly, once or twice a week, 
sometimes oftener, if the weather was fair, to take the ship's 
pinnace, and go out into the road a-fishing; and as he always 
took me and a young Maresco with him to row the boat, we 
made him very merry, and I proved very dexterous in catch- 



ing fish; insomuch, that sometimes he would send me with a 
Moor, one of his kinsmen, and the youth the Maresco, as they 
called him, to catch a dish of fish for him. 

It happened one time that, going a-fishing in a stark calm 
morning, a fog rose so thick, that though we were not half a 
league from the shore we lost sight of it ; and rowing we knew 
not whither or which way, we labored all day, and all the next 
night, and when the morning came we found we had pulled 
off to sea instead of pulling in for the shore ; and that we were 
at least two leagues from the shore. However, we got well 
in again, though with a great deal of labor, and some danger, 
for the wind began to blow pretty fresh in the morning; but 
particularly we were all very hungry. 

But our patron, warned by this disaster, resolved to take 
more care of himself for the future; and having lying by him 
the long-boat of our English ship which he had taken, he re- 
solved he would not go a-fishing any more without a compass 
and some provisions; so he ordered the carpenter of his ship, 
who also was an English slave, to build a little state-room, or 
cabin, in the middle of the long-boat, like that of a barge, with 
a place to stand behind it to steer and haul home the main-sheet, 
and room before for a hand or two to stand and work the sails. 
She sailed with what we call a shoulder-of-mutton sail; and 
the boom jibed over the top of the cabin, which lay very snug 
and low, and had in it room for him to lie, with a slave or two, 
and a table to eat on, with some small lockers to put in some 
bottles of such liquor as he thought fit to drink; particularly 
his bread, rice, and coffee. 



We went frequently out with this boat a-fishing, and as 
I was most dexterous to catch fish for him, he never went 
without me. It happened that he had appointed to go out 
in this boat, either for pleasure or for fish, with two or three 
Moors of some distinction in that place, and for whom he had 
provided extraordinarily; and had therefore sent on board 
the boat overnight a larger store of provisions than ordinary; 
and had ordered me to get ready three fusees with powder and 
shot, which were on board his ship, for that they designed some 
sport of fowling as well as fishing. 

I got all things ready as he had directed, and waited the 
next morning with the boat, washed clean, her ancient and 
pendants out, and everything to accommodate his guests; when 
by and by my patron came on board alone, and told me his 
guests had put off gclng, upon some business that fell out, and 
ordered me with the man and boy, as usual, to go out with the 
boat and catch them some fish, for that his friends were to sup 
at his house; and commanded that as soon as I had got some 
fish I should bring it home to his house; all which I prepared 
to do. 

This moment my former notions of deliverance darted into 
my thoughts, for now I found I was like to have a little ship 
at my command; and my master being gone I prepared to 
furnish myself, not for a fishing business, but for a voyage; 
though I knew not, neither did I so much as consider, whither 
I should steer; for anywhere, to get out of that place, was 
my way. 

My first contrivance was to make a pretence to speak to 



this Moor, to get something for our subsistence on board; for 
I told him we must not presume to eat of our patron's bread. 
He said that was true; so he brought a large basket of rusk 
or biscuit of their kind, and three jars with fresh water, into 
the boat. I knew where my patron's case of bottles stood, 
which it was evident by the make were taken out of some Eng- 
lish prize; and I conveyed them into the boat while the Moor 
was on shore, as if they had been there before for our master. 
I conveyed also a great lump of beeswax into the boat, which 
weighed above half a hundredweight, with a parcel of twine 
or thread, a hatchet, a saw, and a hammer, all which were of 
great use to us afterwards, especially the wax to make candles. 
Another trick I tried upon him, which he innocently came into 
also. His name was Ismael, who they call Muly, or Moely; 
so I called to him, "Moely," said I, "our patron's guns are 
on board the boat; can you not get a little powder and shot? 
It may be we may kill some alcamies (a fowl like our curlews) 
for ourselves for I know he keeps the gunner's stores in the 
ship." "Yes," said he, "I'll bring some"; and accordingly he 
brought a great leather pouch which held about a pound and a 
half of powder, or rather more; and another with shot, that 
had five or six pounds with some bullets, and put all into the 
boat. At the same time I had found some powder of my 
master's in the great cabin, with which I filled one of the large 
bottles in the case, which was almost empty, pouring what was 
in it into another ; and thus furnished with everything needful, 
we sailed out of the port to fish. The castle, which is at 
the entrance of the port, knew who we were, and took no notice 



of us ; and we were not above a mile out of the port before we 
hauled in our sail, and set us down to fish. The wind blew from 
the N.N.E., which was contrary to my desire; for had it blown 
southerly I had been sure to have made the coast of Spain, 
and at least reached to the bay of Cadiz; but my resolutions 
were, blow which way it would, I would be gone from the horrid 
place where I was, and leave the rest to Fate. 

After we had fished some time and caught nothing, for 
when I had fish on my hook I would not pull them up, that 
he might not see them, I said to the Moor, "This will not do; 
our master will not be thus served; we must stand farther off." 
He, thinking no harm, agreed, and being in the head of the 
boat set the sails; and as I had the helm I run the boat out 
near a league farther, and then brought her to as if I would 
fish ; when giving the boy the helm, I stepped forward to where 
the Moor was, and making as if I stooped for something be- 
hind him, I took him by surprise with my arm under his waist, 
and tossed him clear overboard into the sea. He rose imme- 
diately, for he swam like a cork, and called to me, begged to 
be taken in, told me he would go all the world over with me. 
He swam so strong after the boat, that he would have reached 
me very quickly, there being but little wind; upon which I 
stepped into the cabin, and fetching one of the fowling-pieces, 
I presented it at him, and told him I had done him no hurt, and 
if he would be quiet I would do him none. "But," said I, "you 
swim well enough to reach to the shore, and the sea is calm; 
make the best of your way to shore, and I will do you no 
harm; but if you come near the boat I'll shoot you through the 



head, for I am resolved to have my liberty." So he turned 
himself about, and swam for the shore, and I make no doubt but 
he reached it with ease, for he was an excellent swimmer. 

I could have been content to have taken this Moor with 
me, and have drowned the boy, but there was no venturing to 
trust him. When he was gone I turned to the boy, whom 
they called Xury, and said to him, "Xury, if you will be faith- 
ful to me I'll make you a great man; but if you will not stroke 
5 r our face to be true to me," that is, swear by Mahomet and 
his father's beard, "I must throw you into the sea too." The 
boy smiled in my face, and spoke so innocently, that I could 
not mistrust him, and swore to be faithful to me, and go all 
over the world with me. 

While I was in view of the Moor who was swimming, I 
stood out directly to sea with the boat, rather stretching to 
windward, that they might think me gone toward the straits' 
mouth (as indeed any one that had been in their wits must 
have been supposed to be) ; for who would have supposed we 
would sail on to the southward to the truly barbarian coast, 
where whole nations of negroes were sure to surround us with 
their canoes, and destroy us ; where we could ne'er once go on 
shore but we should be devoured by savage beasts, or more 
merciless savages of human kind? 

But as soon as it grew dusk in the evening, I changed my 
course, and steered directly south and by east, bending my 
course a little toward the east, that I might keep in with the 
shore ; and having a fair, fresh gale of wind, and a smooth, quiet 
sea, I made such sail that I believed by the next day at three 



o'clock in the afternoon, when I first made the land, I could not 
be less than 150 miles south of Sallee; quite beyond the Em- 
peror of Morocco's dominions, or indeed of any other king 
thereabouts, for we saw no people. 

Yet such was the fright I had taken at the Moors, and 
the dreadful apprehensions I had of falling into their hands, 
that I would not stop, or go on shore, or come to anchor, the 
wind continuing fair, till I had sailed in that manner five days ; 
and then the wind shifting to the southward, I concluded also 
that if any of their vessels were in chase of me, they also would 
now give over; so I ventured to make to the coast, and came 
to an anchor in the mouth of a little river, I knew not what, 
or where ; neither what latitude, what country, what nation, or 
what river. I neither saw, or desired to see, any people; the 
principal thing I wanted was fresh water. We came into this 
creek in the evening, resolving to swim to shore as soon as it was 
dark, and discover the country; but as soon as it was quite 
dark we heard such dreadful noises of the barking, roaring, 
and howling of wild creatures, of we knew not what kinds, 
that the poor boy was ready to die with fear, and begged of 
me not to go on shore till day. "Well, Xury," said I, "then 
I won't; but it may be we may see men by day, who will be 
as bad to us as those lions." "Then we give them the shoot 
gun," said Xury, laughing; "make them run away." Such 
English Xury spoke by conversing among us slaves. How- 
ever, I was glad to see the boy so cheerful, and I gave him 
a dram (out of our patron's case of bottles) to cheer him up. 
After all, Xury's advice was good, and I took it; we dropped 



our little anchor and lay still all night. I say still, for we 
slept none; for in two or three hours we saw vast great crea- 
tures (we knew not what to call them) of many sorts come 
down to the sea-shore and run into the water, wallowing and 
washing themselves for the pleasure of cooling themselves; and 
they made such hideous howlings and yellings, that I never 
indeed heard the like. 

Xury was dreadfully frightened, and indeed so was I too; 
but we were both more frightened when we heard one of these 
mighty creatures come swimming towards our boat; we could 
not see him, but we might hear him by his blowing to be a 
monstrous huge and furious beast. Xury said it was a lion, and 
it might be so for aught I know ; but poor Xury cried to me to 
weigh the anchor and row away. "No," says I, "Xury; we can 
slip our cable with the buoy to it, and go off to sea; they 
cannot follow us far." I had no sooner said so, but I perceived 
the creature (whatever it was) within two oars' length, which 
something surprised me ; however, I immediately stepped to the 
cabin door, and taking up my gun, fired at him, upon which 
he immediately turned about and swam towards the shore 

But it is impossible to describe the horrible noises, and 
hideous cries and howlings, that were raised, as well upon 
the edge of the shore as higher within the country, upon the 
noise or report of the gun, a thing I have some reason to 
believe those creatures had never heard before. This con- 
vinced me that there was no going on shore for us in the night 
upon that coast; and how to venture on shore in the day was 



another question too ; for to have fallen into the hands of any 
of the savages, had been as bad as to have fallen into the 
hands of lions and tigers ; at least we were equally apprehensive 
of the danger of it. 

Be that as it would, we were obliged to go on shore some- 
where or other for water, for we had not a pint left in the boat ; 
when or where to get to it, was the point. Xury said if I would 
let him go on shore with one of the jars, he would find if there 
was any water and bring some to me. I asked him why he 
should go ? why I should not go and he stay in the boat ? The 
boy answered with so much affection, that made me love him 
ever after. Said he, "If wild mans come, they eat me, you go 
way." "Well, Xury," said I, "we will both go; and if the 
wild mans come, we will kill them, they shall eat neither of 
us." So I gave Xury a piece of rusk bread to eat, and a dram 
out of our patron's case of bottles which I mentioned before; 
and we hauled in the boat as near the shore as we thought was 
proper, and so waded to shore, carrying nothing but our arms 
and two jars for water. 

I did not care to go out of sight of the boat, fearing the 
coming of canoes with savages down the river; but the boy 
seeing a low place about a mile up the country, rambled to it; 
and by and by I saw him come running towards me. I thought 
he was pursued by some savage, or frightened with some wild 
beast, and I ran towards him to help him; but when I came 
nearer to him, I saw something hanging over his shoulders, 
which was a creature that he had shot, like a hare, but differ- 
ent in color, and longer legs. However, we were very glad 



of it, and it was very good meat; but the great joy that poor 
Xury came with was to tell me he had found good water, and 
had seen no wild mans. 

But we found afterwards that we need not take such pains 
for water, for a little higher up the creek where we were we 
found the water fresh when the tide was out, which flowed but a 
little way up; so we filled our jars, and feasted on the hare we 
had killed, and prepared to go on our way, having seen no foot- 
steps of any human creature in that part of the country. 

As I had been one voyage to this coast before, I knew very 
well that the islands of the Canaries, and the Cape de Verde 
Islands also, lay not far off from the coast. But as I had no 
instruments to take an observation to know what latitude we 
were in, and did not exactly know, or at least remember, what 
latitude they were in, I knew not where to look for them, or 
when to stand off to sea towards them ; otherwise I might now 
easily have found some of these islands. But my hope was, 
that if I stood along this coast till I came to that part where 
the English traded, I should find some of their vessels upon 
their usual design of trade, that would relieve and take us in. 

By the best of my calculation, that place where I now 
was must be that country which, lying between the Emperor of 
Morocco's dominions and the negroes, lies waste and unin- 
habited, except by wild beasts ; the negroes having abandoned 
it and gone farther south for fear of the Moors, and the Moors 
not thinking it worth inhabiting, by reason of its barrenness; 
and indeed both forsaking it because of the prodigious numbers 
of tigers, lions, leopards, and other furious creatures which 



harbor there; so that the Moors use it for their hunting only, 
where they go like an army, two or three thousand men at a 
time ; and indeed for near an hundred miles together upon this 
coast we saw nothing but a waste uninhabited country by day, 
and heard nothing but howlings and roarings of wild beasts by 

Once or twice in the daytime I thought I saw the Pico of 
Teneriffe, being the high top of the Mountain Teneriffe in 
the Canaries, and had a great mind to venture out, in hopes of 
reaching thither; but having tried twice, I was forced in again 
by contrary winds, the sea also going too high for my little 
vessel ; so I resolved to pursue my first design, and keep along 
the shore. 

Several times I was obliged to land for fresh water after 
we had left this place ; and once in particular, being early in the 
morning, we came to an anchor under a little point of land 
which was pretty high ; and the tide beginning to flow, we lay 
still to go farther in. Xury, whose eyes were more about him 
than it seems mine were, called softly to me, and told me that 
we had best go farther off the shore; "For," said he, "look, 
yonder lies a dreadful monster on the side of that hillock fast 
asleep." I looked where he pointed, and saw a dreadful mon- 
ster indeed, for it was a terrible great lion that lay on the 
side of the shore, under the shade of a piece of the hill that 
hung as it were a little over him. "Xury," said I, "you shall 
go on shore and kill him." Xury looked frightened, and said, 
"Me kill! he eat me at one mouth"; one mouthful he meant. 
However, I said no more to the boy, but bade him lie still, and 



I took our biggest gun, which was almost musket-bore, and 
loaded it with a good charge of powder, and with two slugs, 
and laid it down ; then I loaded another gun with two bullets ; 
and the third (for we had three pieces) I loaded with five 
smaller bullets. I took the best aim I could with the first 
piece to have shot him into the head, but he lay so with his 
leg raised a little above his nose, that the slugs hit his leg about 
the knee, and broke the bone. He started up growling at first, 
but finding his leg broke, fell down again, and then got up 
upon three legs and gave the most hideous roar that ever I 
heard. I was a little surprised that I had not hit him on the 
head. However, I took up the second piece immediately, and, 
though he began to move off, fired again, and shot him into 
the head, and had the pleasure to see him drop, and make but 
little noise, but lay struggling for life. Then Xury took heart, 
and would have me let him go on shore. "Well, go," said I ; 
so the boy jumped into the water, and taking a little gun in 
one hand, swam to shore with the other hand, and coming close 
to the creature, put the muzzle of the piece to his ear, and 
shot him into the head again, which despatched him quite. 

This was game indeed to us, but this was no food; and I 
was very sorry to lose three charges of powder and shot 
upon a creature that was good for nothing to us. However, 
Xury said he would have some of him ; so he comes on board, 
and asked me to give him the hatchet. "For what, Xury?" 
said I. "Me cut off his head," said he. However, Xury 
could not cut off his head, but he cut off a foot, and brought 
it with him, and it was a monstrous great one. 



I bethought myself, however, that perhaps the skin of him 
might one way or other be of some value to us ; and I resolved to 
take off his skin if I could. So Xury and I went to work with 
him ; but Xury was much the better workman at it, for I knew 
very ill how to do it. Indeed, it took us up both the whole day, 
but at last we got off the hide of him, and spreading it on the 
top of our cabin, the sun effectually dried it in two days' time, 
and it afterwards served me to lie upon. 

After this stop we made on to the southward continually 
for ten or twelve days, living very sparing on our provisions, 
which began to abate very much, and going no oftener into 
the shore than we were obliged to for fresh water. My design 
in this was to make the river Gambia or Senegal — that is to say, 
anywhere about the Cape de Verde — where I was in hopes to 
meet with some European ship; and if I did not, I knew not 
what course I had to take, but to seek out for the islands or 
perish there among the negroes. I knew that all the ships from 
Europe, which sailed either to the coast of Guinea or to Brazil, 
or to the East Indies, made this cape, or those islands; and in a 
word, I put the whole of my fortune upon this single point, 
either that I must meet with some ship, or must perish. 

When I had pursued this resolution about ten days longer, 
as I have said, I began to see that the land was inhabited; and 
in two or three places, as we sailed by, we saw people stand 
upon the shore to look at us ; we could also perceive they were 
quite black, and stark naked. I was once inclined to have gone 
on shore to them ; but Xury was my better councilor, and said 
to me, "No go, no go." However, I hauled in nearer the shore 



that I might talk to them, and I found they ran along the shore 
by me a good way. I observed they had no weapons in their 
hands, except one, who had a long slender stick, which Xury 
said was a lance, and that they would throw them a great way 
with good aim. So I kept at a distance, but talked with them 
by signs as well as I could, and particularly made signs for 
something to eat; they beckoned to me to stop my boat, and 
that they would fetch me some meat. Upon this I lowered the 
top of my sail, and lay by, and two of them ran up into the 
country, and in less than half-an-hour came back, and brought 
with them two pieces of dried flesh and some corn, such as is 
the produce of their country; but we neither knew what the 
one or the other was. However, we were willing to accept it, 
but how to come at it was our next dispute, for I was not for 
venturing on shore to them, and they were as much afraid of 
us ; but they took a safe way for us all, for they brought it to 
the shore and laid it down, and went and stood a great way 
off till we fetched it on board, and then came close to us again. 
We made signs of thanks to them, for we had nothing to 
make them amends. But an opportunity offered that very in- 
stant to oblige them wonderfully; for while we were lying by 
the shore came two mighty creatures, one pursuing the other 
(as we took it) with great fury from the mountains towards 
the sea ; whether it was the male pursuing the female, or whether 
they were in sport or in rage, we could not tell, any more than 
we could tell whether it was usual or strange, but I believe it 
was the latter: because, in the first place, those ravenous crea- 
tures seldom appear but in the night ; and in the second place, 



we found the people terribly frightened, especially the women. 

The man that had the lance or dart did not fly from them but 
the rest did ; however, as the two creatures ran directly into the 
water, they did not seem to offer to fall upon any of the 
negroes, but plunged themselves into the sea, and swam about, 
as if they had come for their diversion. At last, one of them 
began to come nearer our boat than at first I expected; but 
I lay ready for him, for I had loaded my gun with all possible 
expedition, and bade Xury load both the others. As soon as 
he came fairly within my reach, I fired, and shot him directly 
into the head; immediately he sunk down into the water, but 
rose instantly, and plunged up and down, as if he was strug- 
gling for life, and so indeed he was. He immediately made to 
the shore; but between the wound, which was his mortal hurt, 
and the strangling of the water, he died just before he reached 
the shore. 

It is impossible to express the astonishment of these poor 
creatures, at the noise and the fire of my gun; some of them 
were even ready to die for fear, and fell down as dead with 
the very terror. But when they saw the creature dead, and 
sunk in the water, and that I made signs to them to come to the 
shore, they took heart and came to the shore, and began to 
search for the creature. I found him by his blood staining the 
water: and by the help of a rope, which I slung round him, 
and gave the negroes to haul, they dragged him on the shore, 
and found that it was a most curious leopard, spotted, and 
fine to an admirable degree; and the negroes held up their 
hands with admiration, to think what I had killed him with. 



The other creature, frightened with the flash of fire and the 
noise of the gun, swam on shore, and ran up directly to the 
mountains from whence they came; nor could I, at that dis- 
tance, know what it was. I found quickly the negroes were 
for eating the flesh of this creature, so I was willing to have 
them take it as a favor from me; which when I made signs 
to them that they might take him, they were very thankful 
for. Immediately they fell to work with him; and though 
they had no knife, yet, with a sharpened piece of wood, they 
took off his skin as readily, and much more readily than we 
could have done with a knife. They offered me some of the 
flesh, which I declined, making as if I would give it them, but 
made signs for the skin, which they gave me very freely, and 
brought me a great deal more of their provision, which though I 
did not understand, yet I accepted. Then I made signs to them 
for some water, and held out one of my jars to them, turning 
it bottom upward, to show that it was empty, and that I 
wanted to have it filled. They called immediately to some of 
their friends, and there came two women, and brought a great 
vessel made of earth, and burnt, as I suppose, in the sun; this 
they set down for me, as before, and I sent Xury on shore with 
my jars, and filled them all three. The women were as stark 
naked as the men. 

I was now furnished with roots and corn, such as it was, 
and water; and leaving my friendly negroes, I made forward 
for about eleven daj^s more, without offering to go near the 
shore, till I saw the land run out a great length into the sea, at 
about the distance of four or five leagues before me; and the 



sea being very calm. I kept a large offing, to make this point. 
At length doubling the point, at about two leagues from the 
land, I saw plainly land on the other side, to seaward; then I 
concluded, as it was most certain indeed, that this was the Cape 
de Verde, and those the islands, called from thence Cape de 
Verde Islands. However, they were at a great distance, and I 
could not well tell what I had best to do; for if I should be 
taken with a fresh wind, I might neither reach one nor other. 

In this dilemma, as I was very pensive, I stepped into the 
cabin, and sat me down, Xury having the helm; when, on a 
sudden, the boy cried out, "Master, master, a ship with a sail!" 
and the foolish boy was frightened out of his wits, thinking it 
must needs be some of his master's ships sent to pursue us, when 
I knew we were gotten far enough out of their reach. I 
jumped out of the cabin, and immediately saw not only the 
ship, but what she was, viz., that it was a Portuguese ship, and, 
as I thought, was bound to the coast of Guinea, for negroes. 
But when I observed the course she steered, I was soon con- 
vinced they were bound some other way, and did not design 
to come any nearer to the shore ; upon which I stretched out to 
sea as much as I could, resolving to speak with them, if possi- 

With all the sail I could make, I found I should not be 
able to come in their way, but that they would be gone by be- 
fore I could make any signal to them ; but after I had crowded 
to the utmost, and began to despair, they, it seems, saw me by 
the help of their perspective glasses, and that it was some 
European boat, which, as they supposed, must belong to some 



ship that was lost, so they shortened sail to let me come up. 

I was encouraged with this ; and as I had my patron's flag on 
board, I made a waft of it to them for a signal of distress, and 
fired a gun, both of which they saw ; for they told me they saw 
the smoke, though they did not hear the gun. Upon these 
signals they very kindly brought to, and lay by for me ; and in 
about three hours' time I came up with them. 

They asked me what I was, in Portuguese, and in Spanish, 
and in French, but I understood none of them; but at last a 
Scots sailor, who was on board, called to me, and I answered 
him, and told him I was an Englishman, that I had made my 
escape out of slavery from the Moors, at Sallee. Then they 
bade me come on board, and very kindly took me in, and all my 

It was an inexpressible joy to me, that any one will be- 
lieve, that I was thus delivered, as I esteemed it, from such a 
miserable, and almost hopeless, condition as I was in; and I 
immediately offered all I had to the captain of the ship, as a 
return for my deliverance. But he generously told me he 
would take nothing from me, but that all I had should be de- 
livered safe to me when I came to the Brazils. "For," says he, 
"I have saved your life on no other terms than I would be 
glad to be saved myself; and it may, one time or other, be my 
lot to be taken up in the same condition. Besides," says he, 
"when I carry you to the Brazils, so great a way from your 
own country, if I should take from you what you have, you will 
be starved there, and then I only take away that life I have 
given. No, no, Seignior Inglese," says he, "Mr. Englishman, 



I will carry you thither in charity, and those things will help 
you to buy your subsistence there, and your passage home 



He Settles in the Brazils as a Planter — Makes another Voyage and 

is Shipwrecked 

S he was charitable in his proposal, so he was just in 
the performance to a tittle ; for he ordered the seamen 
that none should offer to touch anything I had; then 
he took everything into his own possession, and gave me back 
an exact inventory of them, that I might have them, even so 
much as my three earthen jars. 

As to my boat, it was a very good one, and that he saw, 
and told me he would buy it of me for the ship's use, and asked 
me what I would have for it ? I told him he had been so gener- 
ous to me in everything, that I could not offer to make any 
price for the boat, but left it entirely to him; upon which he 
told me he would give me a note of his hand to pay me eighty 
pieces of eight for it at Brazil, and when it came there, if any 
one offered to give more, he would make it up. He offered 
me also sixty pieces of eight more for my boy, Xury, which I 
was loth to take; not that I was not willing to let the captain 
have him, but I was very loth to sell the poor boy's liberty, who 
had assisted me so faithfully in procuring my own. However, 
when I let him know my reason, he owned it to be just, and 
offered me this medium, that he would give the boy an obliga- 



tion to set him free in ten years if he turned Christian. Upon 
this, and Xury saying he was willing to go to him, I let the 
captain have him. 

We had a very good voyage to the Brazils, and arrived 
in the Bay de Todos los Santos, or All Saints' Bay, in about 
twenty-two days after. And now I was once more delivered 
from the most miserable of all conditions of life; and what to 
do next with myself I was now to consider. 

The generous treatment the captain gave me, I can never 
enough remember. He would take nothing of me for my pass- 
age, gave me twenty ducats for the leopard's skin, and forty 
for the lion's skin, which I had in my boat, and caused every- 
thing I had in the ship to be punctually delivered me; and 
what I was willing to sell he bought, such as the case of bottles, 
two of my guns, and a piece of the lump of beeswax — for I 
had made candles of the rest; in a word, I made about 220 
pieces of eight of all my cargo, and with this stock I went on 
shore in the Brazils. 

I had not been long here, but being recommended to the 
house of a good honest man like himself, who had an ingeino 
as they call it, that is, a plantation and a sugar-house, I lived 
with him some time, and acquainted myself by that means with 
the manner of their planting and making of sugar; and see- 
ing how well the planters lived, and how they grew rich sud- 
denly, I resolved, if I could get a license to settle there, I would 
turn planter among them, resolving in the meantime to find 
out some way to get my money which I left in London remitted 
to me. To this purpose, getting a kind of a letter of natural- 



ization, I purchased as much land that was uncured as my 
money would reach, and formed a plan for my plantation and 
settlement, and such a one as might be suitable to the stock 
which I proposed to myself to receive from England. 

I had a neighbor, a Portuguese of Lisbon, but born of 
English parents, whose name was Wells, and in much such 
circumstances as I was. I call him my neighbor, because his 
plantation lay next to mine, and we went on very sociably 
together. My stock was but low, as well as his ; and we rather 
planted for food than anything else, for about two years. 
However, we began to increase, and our land began to come 
into order ; so that the third year we planted some tobacco, and 
made each of us a large piece of ground ready for planting 
canes in the year to come. But we both wanted help; and 
now I found more than before, I had done wrong in parting 
with my boy Xury. 

But alas! for me to do wrong that never did right was no 
great wonder. I had no remedy but to go on. I was gotten 
into an employment quite remote to my genius, and directly 
contrary to the life I delighted in, and for which I forsook my 
father's house, and broke through all his good advice; nay, I 
was coming into the very middle station, or upper degree of 
low life, which my father advised me to before; and which, if 
I resolved to go on with, I might as well have stayed at home, 
and never have fatigued myself in the world as I had done. 
And I used often to say to myself, I could have done this as 
well in England among my friends, as have gone 5,000 miles 
off to do it among strangers and savages, in a wilderness, and at 



such a distance as never to hear from any part of the world 
that had the least knowledge of me. 

In this manner I used to look upon my condition with 
the utmost regret. I had nobody to converse with, but now and 
then this neighbor; no work to be done, but by the labor of 
my hands; and I used to say, I lived just like a man cast away 
upon some desolate island, that had nobody there but himself. 
But how just has it been! and how should all men reflect, that 
when they compare their present conditions with others that 
are worse, Heaven may oblige them to make the exchange, 
and be convinced of their former felicity by their experience; 
— I say, how just has it been, that the truly solitary life I re- 
flected on in an island of mere desolation should be my lot, 
who had so often unjustly compared it with the life which 
I then led, in which, had I continued, I had in all probability 
been exceeding prosperous and rich. 

I was in some degree settled in my measures for carrying 
on the plantation before my kind friend, the captain of the 
ship that took me up at sea, went back; for the ship remained 
there in providing his loading, and preparing for his voyage, 
near three months; when, telling him what little stock I had 
left behind me in London, he gave me this friendly and sin- 
cere advice: "Seignior Inglese," says he, for so he always 
called me, "if you will give me letters, and a procuration here 
in form to me, with orders to the person who has your money 
in London to send your effects to Lisbon, to such persons as I 
shall direct, and in such goods as are proper for this countiy, 
I will bring you the produce of them, God willing, at my re- 



turn. But since human affairs are all subject to changes and 
disaster, I would have you give orders but for one hundred 
pounds sterling, which, you say, is half your stock, and let the 
hazard be run for the first; so that if it come safe, you may 
order the rest the same way ; and if it miscarry, you may have 
the other half to have recourse to for your supply." 

This was so wholesome advice, and looked so friendly, that 
I could not but be convinced it was the best course I could 
take; so I accordingly prepared letters to the gentlewoman 
with whom I had left my money, and a procuration to the 
Portuguese captain, as he desired. 

I wrote the English captain's widow a full account of all 
my adventures; my slavery, escape, and how I had met with 
the Portuguese captain at sea, the humanity of his behavior, 
and in what condition I was now in, with all other necessary di- 
rections for my supply. And when this honest captain came 
to Lisbon, he found means, by some of the English merchants 
there, to send over not the order only, but a full account of 
my story to a merchant at London, who represented it ef- 
fectually to her; whereupon, she not only delivered the money, 
but out of her own pocket sent the Portuguese captain a very 
handsome present for his humanity and charity to me. 

The merchant in London vesting this hundred pounds in 
English goods, such as the captain had written for, sent them 
directly to him at Lisbon, and he brought them all safe to me 
to the Brazils; among which, without my direction (for I was 
too young in my business to think of them) , he had taken care 
to have all sorts of tools, iron-work, and utensils necessary 



for my plantation, and which were of great use to me. 

When this cargo arrived, I thought my fortune made, for 
I was surprised with joy of it; and my good steward, the 
captain, had laid out the five pounds, which my friend had sent 
him for a present for himself, to purchase and bring me over 
a servant under bond for six years' service, and would not ac- 
cept of any consideration, except a little tobacco, which I 
would have him accept, being of my own produce. 

Neither was this all; but my goods being all English manu- 
factures, such as cloth, stuffs, baize, and things particularly 
valuable and desirable in the country, I found means to sell 
them to a very great advantage ; so that I may say I had more 
than four times the value of my first cargo, and was now in- 
finitely beyond my poor neighbor, I mean in the advancement 
of my plantation ; for the first thing I did, I bought me a negro 
slave, and an European servant also; I mean another besides 
that which the captain brought me from Lisbon. 

But as abused prosperity is oftentimes made the very means 
of our greatest adversity, so was it with me. I went on the 
next year with great success in my plantation. I raised fifty 
great rolls of tobacco on my own ground, more than I 
had disposed of for necessaries among my neighbors ; and these 
fifty rolls, being each of above a hundredweight, were well 
cured, and laid by against the return of the fleet from Lisbon. 
And now, increasing in business and in wealth, my head be- 
gan to be full of projects and undertakings beyond my reach, 
such as are, indeed, often the ruin of the best heads in business. 
Had I continued in the station I was now in, I had room 



for all the happy things to have yet befallen me for which my 
father so earnestly recommended a quiet, retired life, and of 
which he had so sensibly described the middle station of life 
to be full of. But other things attended me, and I was still to 
be the wilful agent of all my own miseries ; and particularly, to 
increase my fault and double the reflections upon myself, which 
in my future sorrows I should have leisure to make. All these 
miscarriages were procured by my apparent obstinate adhering 
to my foolish inclination of wandering abroad, and pursuing 
that inclination in contradiction to the clearest views of doing 
myself good in a fair and plain pursuit of those prospects, and 
those measures of life, which Nature and Providence con- 
curred to present me with, and to make my duty. 

As I had once done thus in nry breaking away from my 
parents, so I could not be content now, but I must go and 
leave the happy view I had of being a rich and thriving man 
in my new plantation, only to pursue a rash and immoderate 
desire of rising faster than the nature of the thing admitted; 
and thus I cast myself down again into the deepest gulf of 
human misery that ever man fell into, or perhaps could be 
consistent with life and a state of health in the world. 

To come then, by the just degrees to the particulars of this 
part of my story. You may suppose, that having now lived 
almost four years in the Brazils, and beginning to thrive and 
prosper very well upon my plantation, I had not only learned 
the language, but had contracted acquaintance and friend- 
ship among my fellow-planters, as well as among the mer- 
chants at St. Salvador, which was our port, and that in my 



discourses among them I had frequently given them an ac- 
count of my two voyages to the coast of Guinea, the manner 
of trading with the negroes there, and how easy it was to pur- 
chase upon the coast for trifles — such as beads, toys, knives, 
scissors, hatchets, bits of glass, and the like — not only gold 
dust, Guinea grains, elephants' teeth, etc., but negroes, for the 
service of the Brazils, in great numbers. 

The} r listened always very attentively to my discourses on 
these heads, but especially to that part which related to the 
buying negroes ; which was a trade, at that time, not only not 
far entered into, but, as far as it was, had been carried on by 
the assiento, or permission, of the Kings of Spain and Por- 
tugal, and engrossed in the public, so that few negroes were 
bought, and those excessive dear. 

It happened, being in company with some merchants and 
planters of my acquaintance, and talking of those things very 
earnestly, three of them came to me the next morning, and 
told me they had been musing very much upon what I had 
discoursed with them of, the last night, and they came to make 
a secret proposal to me. And after enjoining me secrecy, they 
told me that they had a mind to fit out a ship to go to Guinea ; 
that they had all plantations as well as I, and were straitened 
for nothing so much as servants; that as it was a trade that 
could not be carried on because they could not publicly sell 
the negroes when they came home, so they desired to make but 
one voyage, to bring the negroes on shore privately, and divide 
them among their own plantations ; and, in a word, the question 
was, whether I would go as their supercargo in the ship, to 



manage the trading part upon the coast of Guinea; and they 
offered me that I should have my equal share of the negroes 
without providing any part of the stock. 

This was a fair proposal, it must be confessed, had it been 
made to any one that had not had a settlement and plantation 
of his own to look after, which was in a fair way of coming to 
be very considerable, and with a good stock upon it. But for 
me, that was thus entered and established, and had nothing 
to do but go on as I had begun, for three or four years more, 
and to have sent for the other hundred pounds from England ; 
and who, in that time, and with that little addition, could scarce 
have failed of being worth three or four thousand pounds 
sterling, and that increasing too — for me to think of such a 
voyage, was the most preposterous thing that ever man, in 
such circumstances, could be guilty of. 

But I, that was born to be my own destroyer, could no 
more resist the offer than I could restrain my first rambling 
designs, when my father's good counsel was lost upon me. In 
a word, I told them I would go with all my heart, if they would 
undertake to look after my plantation in my absence, and 
would dispose of it to such as I should direct if I miscarried. 
This they all engaged to do, and entered into writings or 
covenants to do so; I made a formal will, disposing of my 
plantation and effects, in case of my death ; making the captain 
of the ship that had saved my life, as before, nry universal 
heir, but obliging him to dispose of my effects as I had directed 
in my will; one-half of the produce being to himself, and the 
other to be shipped to England. 



In short, I took all possible caution to preserve my effects, 
and keep up my plantation. Had I used half as much prud- 
ence to have looked into my own interest, and have made a 
judgment of what I ought to have done and not to have done, 
I had certainly never gone away from so prosperous an un- 
dertaking, leaving all the probable views of a thriving cir- 
cumstance, and gone upon a voyage to sea, attended with all its 
common hazards, to say nothing of the reasons I had to ex- 
pect particular misfortunes to myself. 

But I was hurried on, and obeyed blindly the dictates of 
my fancy rather than my reason. And accordingly, the ship 
being fitted out, and the cargo furnished, and all things done 
as by agreement by my partners in the voyage, I went on 
board in an evil hour, the first of September, 1659, being 
the same day eight years that I went from my father and 
mother at Hull, in order to act the rebel to their authority, and 
the fool to my own interest. 

Our ship was about 120 tons burden, carried six guns and 
fourteen men, besides the master, his boy, and myself. We 
had on board no large cargo of goods, except of such toys as 
were fit for our trade with the negroes — such as beads, bits of 
glass, shells, and odd trifles, especially little looking-glasses, 
knives, scissors, hatchets, and the like. 

The same day I went on board we set sail, standing away 
to the northward upon our own coast, with design to stretch 
over for the African coast, when they came about 10 or 12 
degrees of northern latitude, which, it seems, was the manner 
of their course in those days. We had very good weather, only 



excessive hot, all the way upon our own coast, till we came to 
the height of Cape St. Augustino, from whence, keeping far- 
ther off at sea, we lost sight of land, and steered as if we were 
bound for the Isle Fernando de Noronha, holding our course 
N.E. by N., and leaving those isles on the east. In this course 
we passed the line in about twelve days' time, and were, by 
our last observation, in 7 degrees 22 minutes northern lati- 
tude, when a violent tornado, or hurricane, took us quite out 
of our knowledge. It began from the south-east, came about 
to the north-west, and then settled into the north-east, from 
whence it blew in such a terrible manner, that for twelve days 
together we could do nothing but drive, and, scudding away 
before it, let it carry us wherever fate and the fury of the 
winds directed; and during these twelve days, I need not 
say that I expected every day to be swallowed up, nor, in- 
deed, did any in the ship expect to save their lives. 

In this distress we had, besides the terror of the storm, one 
of our men die of the fever, and one man and the boy washed 
overboard. About the twelfth day, the weather abating a 
little, the master made an observation as well as he could, and 
found that he was in about 11 degrees north latitude, but that 
he was 22 degrees of longitude difference west from Cape St. 
Augustino; so that he found he was gotten upon the coast 
of Guiana, or the north part of Brazil, be} T ond the river 
Amazon, toward that of the river Orinoco, commonly called 
the Great River, and began to consult with me what course 
he should take, for the ship was leaky and very much disabled, 
and he was going directly back to the coast of Brazil. 



I was positively against that; and looking over the charts 
of the sea-coast of America with him, we concluded there was 
no inhabited country for us to have recourse to till we came 
within the circle of the Caribbee Islands, and therefore resolved 
to stand away for Barbadoes, which by keeping off at sea, to 
avoid the indraft of the Bay or Gulf of Mexico, we might 
easily perform, as we hoped, in about fifteen days' sail; whereas 
we could not possibly make our voyage to the coast of Africa 
without some assistance, both to our ship and to ourselves. 

With this design we changed our course, and steered away 
N.W. by W. in order to reach some of our English islands, 
where I hoped for relief; but our voyage was otherwise deter- 
mined; for being in the latitude of 12 degrees 18 minutes, a 
second storm came upon us, which carried us away with the 
same impetuosity westward, and drove us so out of the very 
way of all human commerce, that had all our lives been saved, 
as to the sea, we were rather in danger of being devoured by 
savages than ever returning to our own country. 

In this distress, the wind still blowing very hard, one of 
our men early in the morning cried out, "Land!" and we had 
no sooner ran out of our cabin to look out, in hopes of seeing 
whereabouts in the world we were, but the ship struck upon 
a sand, and in a moment, her motion being so stopped, the 
sea broke over her in such a manner, that we expected we 
should all have perished immediately; and we were immedi- 
ately driven into our close quarters, to shelter us from the very 
foam and spray of the sea. 

It is not easy for any one, who has not been in the like condi- 



tion, to describe or conceive the consternation of men in such 
circumstances. We knew nothing where we were, or upon 
what land it was we were driven, whether an island or the 
main, whether inhabited or not inhabited; and as the rage of 
the wind was still great, though rather less than at first, we 
could not so much as hope to have the ship hold many minutes 
without breaking in pieces, unless the winds, by a kind of 
miracle, should turn immediately about. In a word, we sat 
looking one upon another, and expecting death every moment, 
and every man acting accordingly, as preparing for another 
world; for there was little or nothing more for us to do in 
this. That which was our present comfort, and all the com- 
fort we had, was that, contrary to our expectation, the ship did 
not break yet, and that the master said the wind began to 

Now, though we thought that the wind did a little abate, 
yet the ship having thus struck upon the sand, and sticking too 
fast for us to expect her getting off, we were in a dreadful 
condition indeed, and had nothing to do but to think of saving 
our lives as well as we could. We had a boat at our stern just 
before the storm, but she was first staved by dashing against 
the ship's rudder, and in the next place, she broke away, and 
either sunk, or was driven off to sea, so there was no hope from 
her; we had another boat on board, but how to get her off into 
the sea was a doubtful thing. However, there was no room to 
debate, for we fancied the ship would break in pieces every 
minute, and some told us she was actually broken already. 

In this distress, the mate of our vessel lays hold of the 



boat, and with the help of the rest of the men they got her 
slung over the ship's side; and getting all into her, let go, and 
committed ourselves, being eleven in number, to God's mercy, 
and the wild sea; for though the storm was abated consider- 
ably, yet the sea went dreadful high upon the shore, and might 
well be called den wild zee, as the Dutch call the sea in a storm. 

And now our case was very dismal indeed, for we all saw 
plainly that the sea went so high, that the boat could not live, 
and that we should be inevitably drowned. As to making sail, 
we had none ; nor, if we had, could we have done anything with 
it; so we worked at the oar toward the land, though with 
heavy hearts, like men going to execution, for we all knew 
that when the boat came nearer the shore, she would be dashed 
in a thousand pieces by the breach of the sea. However, we 
committed our souls to God in the most earnest manner; and 
the wind driving us towards the shore, we hastened our de- 
struction with our own hands, pulling as well as we could 
towards land. 

What the shore was, whether rock or sand, whether steep or 
shoal, we knew not; the only hope that could rationally give 
us the least shadow of expectation was, if we may happen into 
some Bay or Gulf, or the mouth of some river, where by great 
chance we might have run our boat in, or got under the lee 
of the land, and perhaps made smooth water. But there was 
nothing of this appeared ; but as we made nearer and nearer the 
shore, the land looked more frightful than the sea. 

After we had rowed, or rather driven, about a league and 
a half, as we reckoned it, a raging wave, mountain-like, came 



rolling astern of us, and plainly bade us expect the coup de 
grace. In a word, it took us with such a fury that it overset 
the boat at once; and separating us, as well from the boat as 
from one another, gave us not time hardly to say, "O God!" 
for we were all swallowed up in a moment. 

Nothing can describe the confusion of thought which I felt 
when I sunk into the water ; for though I swam very well, yet 
I could not deliver myself from the waves so as to draw breath, 
till that wave having driven me, or rather carried me, a vast 
way on towards the shore, and having spent itself, went back, 
and left me upon the land almost dry, but half dead with the 
water I took in. I had so much presence of mind as well as 
breath left, that seeing myself nearer the mainland than I ex- 
pected, I got upon my feet, and endeavored to make on to- 
wards the land as fast as I could, before another wave should 
return and take me up again. But I soon found it was im- 
possible to avoid it ; for I saw the sea come after me as high as 
a great hill, and as furious as an enemy, which I had no means 
or strength to contend with. My business was to hold my 
breath, and raise myself upon the water, if I could; and so, by 
swimming, to preserve my breathing, and pilot myself towards 
the shore, if possible ; my greatest concern now being, that the 
sea, as it would carry me a great way towards the shore when 
it came on, might not carry me back again with it when it gave 
back towards the sea. 

The wave that came upon me again, buried me at once 
20 or 30 feet deep in its own body, and I could feel myself 
carried with a mighty force and swiftness towards the shore a 



very great way; but I held my breath, and assisted myself to 
swim still forward with all my might. I was ready to 
burst with holding my breath, when, as I felt myself rising up, 
so, to my immediate relief, I found my head and hands shoot 
out above the surface of the water; and though it was not two 
seconds of time that I could keep myself so, yet it relieved me 
greatly, gave me breath and new courage. I was covered again 
with water a good while, but not so long but I held it out ; and 
finding the water had spent itself, and began to return, I struck 
forward against the return of the waves, and felt the ground 
again with my feet. I stood still a few moments to recover 
breath, and till the water went from me, and then took to my 
heels and ran with what strength I had farther towards the 
shore. But neither would this deliver me from the fury of the 
sea, which came pouring in after me again, and twice more I 
was lifted up by the waves and carried forwards as before, the 
shore being very flat. 

The last time of these two had well near been fatal to me ; 
for the sea, having hurried me along as before, landed me, or 
rather dashed me, against a piece of a rock and that with such 
force as it left me senseless, and indeed helpless, as to my own 
deliverance; for the blow taking my side and breast beat the 
breath as it were quite out of my body; and had it returned 
again immediately, I must have been strangled in the water. 
But I recovered a little before the return of the waves, and 
seeing I should be covered again with the water, I resolved to 
hold fast by a piece of the rock, and so to hold my breath, if 
possible, till the wave went back. Now as the waves were not 



so high as at first, being near land, I held my hold till the wave 
abated and then fetched another run, which brought me so 
near the shore, that the next wave though it went over me yet 
did not swallow me up as to carry me away, and the next run 
I took I got to the mainland, where to my great comfort I 
clambered up the cliffs of the shore, and sat me down upon 
the grass, free from danger and quite out of the reach of the 

I was now landed, and safe on shore, and began to look up 
and thank God that my life was saved in a case wherein there 
was some minutes before scarce any room to hope. I believe 
it is impossible to express to the life what the ecstasies and 
transports of the soul are when it is so saved, as I may say, 
out of the very grave ; and I do not wonder now at that custom, 
viz., that when a malefactor who has the halter about his neck 
is tied up and just going to be turned off and has a reprieve 
brought to him — I say, I do not wonder that they bring a sur- 
geon with it, to let his blood that every moment they tell him 
of it, that the surprise may not drive the animal spirits from 
his heart, and overwhelm him: 

For sudden joys, like griefs, confound at first. 

I walked about on the shore, lifting up my hands, and my 
whole being, as I may say, wrapt up in the contemplation of 
my deliverance, making a thousand gestures and motions which 
I cannot describe, reflecting upon all my comrades that were 
drowned, and that there should not be one soul saved but my- 
self; for, as for them, I never saw them afterwards, or any 



sign of them except three of their hats, one cap, and two shoes 
that were not fellows. 

I cast my eyes to the stranded vessel when the breach and 
froth of the sea being so big, I could hardly see it, it lay so far 
off, and considered, Lord! how was it possible I could get on 
shore ? 

After I had solaced my mind with the comfortable part of 
my condition I began to look round me to see what kind of 
place I was in, and what was next to be done, and I soon found 
my comforts abate, and that in a word I had a dreadful deliv- 
erance ; for I was wet, had no clothes to shift me, nor anything 
to eat or drink to comfort me, neither did I see any prospect 
before me but that of perishing with hunger, or being devoured 
by wild beasts; and that which was particularly afflicting to 
me was that I had no weapon either to hunt and kill any crea- 
ture for my sustenance, or to defend myself against any other 
creature that might desire to kill me for theirs. In a word, I 
had nothing about me but a knife, a tobacco-pipe, and a little 
tobacco in a box. This was all my provision; and this threw 
me into terrible agonies of mind that for a while I ran about 
like a madman. Night coming upon me, I began, with a heavy 
heart, to consider what would be my lot if there were any 
ravenous beasts in that country, seeing at night they always 
come abroad for their prey. 

All the remedy that offered to my thoughts at that time 
was, to get up into a thick bushy tree like a fir, but thorny, 
which grew near me, and where I resolved to sit all night, and 
consider the next day what death I should die, for as yet I saw 



no prospect of life. I walked about a furlong from the shore, 
to see if I could find any fresh water to drink, which I did, to 
my great joy; and having drank, and put a little tobacco in my 
mouth to prevent hunger, I went to the tree, and getting up 
into it, endeavored to place myself so, as that if I should sleep 
I might not fall ; and having cut me a short stick, like a trun- 
cheon, for my defence, I took up my lodging, and having been 
excessively fatigued, I fell fast asleep, and slept as comfort- 
ably as, I believe, few could have done in my condition, and 
found myself the most refreshed with it that I think I ever 
was on such an occasion. 



Robinson Finds Himself on a Desolate Island and Procures a Stock 
of Articles from the Wreck — He Constructs His Habitation 

WHEN I waked it was broad day, the weather clear, 
and the storm abated, so that the sea did not rage 
and swell as before. But that which surprised me 
most was, that the ship was lifted off in the night from the 
sand where she lay, by the swelling of the tide, and was driven 
up almost as far as the rock which I first mentioned, where I 
had been so bruised by the dashing me against it. This being 
within about a mile from the shore where I was, and the ship 
seeming to stand upright still, I wished myself on board, that, 
at least, I might have some necessary things for my use. 

When I came down from my apartment in the tree I 
looked about me again and the first thing I found was the 
boat, which lay as the wind and the sea had tossed her up 
upon the land, about two miles on my right hand. I walked 
as far as I could upon the shore to have got to her, but found 
a neck or inlet of water between me and the boat, which was 
about half a mile broad ; so I came back for the present, being 
more intent upon getting at the ship, where I hoped to find 
something for my present subsistence. 

A little after noon I found the sea very calm, and the tide 
ebbed so far out, that I could come within a quarter of a mile 



of the ship; and here I found a fresh renewing of my grief, 
for I saw evidently, that if we had kept on board we had been 
all safe, that is to say, we had all got safe on shore, and I had 
not been so miserable as to be left entirely destitute of all com- 
fort and company as I now was. This forced tears from my 
eyes again; but as there was little relief in that, I resolved, if 
possible, to get to the ship ; so I pulled off my clothes, for the 
weather was hot to extremity, and took the water. But when 
I came to the ship my difficulty was still greater to know how 
to get on board; for as she lay aground, and high out of the 
water, there was nothing within my reach to lay hold of. I 
swam round her twice, and the second time I spied a small piece 
of a rope, which I wondered I did not see at first, hang down 
by the fore-chains so low, as that with great difficulty I got hold 
of it, and by the help of that rope got up into the forecastle 
of the ship. Here I found that the ship was bulged, and had a 
great deal of water in her hold, but that she lay so on the side 
of a bank of hard sand, or rather earth, that her stern lay lifted 
up upon the bank, and her head low almost to the water. By 
this means all her quarter was free, and all that was in that part 
was dry ; for vou may be sure my first work was to search and 
to see what was spoiled and what was free. And first I found 
that all the ship's provisions were dry and untouched by the 
water ; and being very well disposed to eat, I went to the bread- 
room and filled my pockets with biscuit, and ate it as 1 went 
about other things, for I had no time to lose. I also found 
some rum in the great cabin, of which I took a large dram, and 
which I had indeed need enough of, to spirit me for what was 



before me. Now I wanted nothing but a boat, to furnish my- 
self with many things which I foresaw would be very necessary 
to me. 

It was in vain to sit still and wish for what was not to be 
had, and this extremity roused my application. We had sev- 
eral spare yards, and two or three large spars of wood, and a 
spare top-mast or two in the ship. I resolved to fall to work 
with these, and flung as man}^ of them overboard as I could 
manage for their weight, tying every one with a rope, that they 
might not drive away. When this was done I went down the 
ship's side, and pulling them to me, I tied four of them fast 
together at both ends as well as I could, in the form of a raft; 
and laying two or three short pieces of plank upon them cross- 
ways, I found I could walk upon it very well, but that it was 
not able to bear any great weight, the pieces being too light. 
So I went to work, and with the carpenter's saw I cut a spare 
top -mast into three lengths, and added them to my raft, with 
a great deal of labor and pains ; but hope of furnishing myself 
with the necessaries encouraged me to go beyond what I should 
have been able to have done upon another occasion. 

My raft was now strong enough to bear any reasonable 
weight. My next care was what to load it with, and how to 
preserve what I laid upon it from the surf of the sea; but I 
was not long considering this. I first laid all the planks or 
boards upon it that I could get, and having considered well 
what I most wanted, I first got three of the seamen's chests 
which I had broken open and emptied, and lowered them down 
upon my raft. The first of these I filled with provisions, viz., 



bread, rice, three Dutch cheeses, five pieces of dried goat's flesh, 
which we lived much upon, and a little remainder of European 
corn which had been laid by for some fowls which we brought 
to sea with us, but the fowls were killed. There had been some 
barley and wheat together, but, to my great disappointment, I 
found afterwards that the rats had eaten or spoiled it all. As 
for liquors I found several cases of bottles belonging to our 
skipper in which were some cordial waters, and, in all, about 
five or six gallons of rack. These I stowed by themselves, 
there being no need to put them into the chest, nor no room 
for them. While I was doing this, I found the tide began to 
flow, though very calm, and I had the mortification to see my 
coat, shirt, and waistcoast, which I had left on shore upon the 
sand, swim away; as for my breeches, which were only linen, 
and open-kneed, I swam on board in them and my stockings. 
However, this put me upon rummaging for clothes, of which I 
found enough, but took no more than I wanted for present 
use; for I had other things which my eye was more upon, as 
first tools to work with on shore ; and it was after long search- 
ing that I found out the carpenter's chest, which was indeed a 
very useful prize to me, and much more valuable than a ship- 
loading of gold would have been at that time. I got it down 
to my raft, even whole as it was, without losing time to look 
into it, for I knew in general what it contained. 

My next care was for some ammunition and arms; there 
were two very good fowling-pieces in the great cabin, and two 
pistols; these I secured first, with some powder-horns, and a 
small bag of shot, and two old rusty swords. I knew there 



were three barrels of powder in the ship, but knew not where 
our gunner had stowed them; but with much search I found 
them, two of them dry and good, the third had taken water; 
those two I got to my raft with the arms. And now I thought 
myself pretty well freighted, and began to think how I should 
get to shore with them, having neither sail, oar, nor rudder; 
and the least capful of wind would have overset all my navi- 

I had three encouragements. 1. A smooth, calm sea. 2. 
The tide rising and setting in to the shore. 3. What little 
wind there was blew me towards the land. And thus, having 
found two or three broken oars belonging to the boat, and be- 
sides the tools which were in the chest, I found two saws, an 
axe, and a hammer, and with this cargo I put to sea. For a 
mile or thereabouts my raft went very well, only that I found 
it drive a little distant from the place where I had landed 
before, by which I perceived that there was some indraft of the 
water, and consequently I hoped to find some creek or river 
there, which I might make use of as a port to get to land with 
my cargo. 

As I imagined, so it was ; there appeared before me a little 
opening of the land, and I found a strong current of the tide 
set into it, so I guided my raft as well as I could to keep in the 
middle of the stream. But here I had like to have suffered a 
second shipwreck, which, if I had, I think verily would have 
broke my heart ; for knowing nothing of the coast my raft ran 
aground at one end of it upon a shoal, and not being aground 
at the other end, it wanted but a little that all my cargo had 



slipped off towards that end that was afloat, and so fallen into 
the water. I did my utmost by setting my back against the 
chests to keep them in their places, but could not thrust off the 
raft with all my strength, neither durst I stir from the posture 
I was in, but holding up the chests with all my might, stood in 
that manner near half an hour, in which time the rising of the 
water brought me a little more upon a level; and a little after, 
the water still rising, my raft floated again, and I thrust her off 
with the oar I had into the channel, and then driving up higher, 
I at length found myself in the mouth of a little river, with 
land on both sides, and a strong current or tide running up. 
I looked on both sides for a proper place to get to shore, for I 
was not willing to be driven too high up the river, hoping in 
time to see some ship at sea, and therefore resolved to place 
myself as near the coast as I could. 

At length I spied a little cove on the right shore of the 
creek, to which, with great pain and difficulty, I guided my 
raft, and at last got so near, as that, reaching ground with my 
oar, I could thrust her directly in; but here I had like to have 
dipped all my cargo in the sea again; for that shore lying 
pretty steep, that is to say, sloping, there was no place to land 
but where one end of my float, if it run on shore, would lie so 
high and the other sink lower, as before, that it would endanger 
my cargo again. All that I could do was to wait till the tide 
was at the highest, keeping the raft with my oar like an anchor 
to hold the side of it fast to the shore, near a flat piece of 
ground, which I expected the water would flow over ; and so it 
did. As soon as I found water enough, for my raft drew 



about a foot of water, I thrust her on upon that flat piece of 
ground, and there fastened or moored her by sticking my two 
broken oars into the ground ; one on one side near one end, and 
one on the other side near the other end ; and thus I lay till the 
water ebbed away, and left my raft and all my cargo safe on 

My next work was to view the country and seek a proper 
place for my habitation, and where to stow my goods to secure 
them from whatever might happen. Where I was, I yet knew 
not ; whether on the continent, or on an island ; whether inhab- 
ited, or not inhabited; whether in danger of wild beasts, or not. 
There was a hill, not above a mile from me, which rose up very 
steep and high, and which seemed to overtop some other hills, 
which lay as in a ridge from it, northward. I took out one of 
the fowling-pieces and one of the pistols, and a horn of powder; 
and thus armed, I travelled for discovery up to the top of that 
hill, where, after I had with great labor and difficulty got to 
the top, I saw my fate to my great affliction, viz., that I was on 
an island environed every way with the sea, no land to be seen, 
except some rocks which laj r a great way off, and two small 
islands less than this, which lay about three leagues to the west. 

I found also that the island I was on was barren, and, as I 
saw good reason to believe, uninhabited, except by wild beasts, 
of whom, however, I saw none; yet I saw abundance of fowls, 
but knew not their kinds; neither, when I killed them, could I 
tell what was fit for food, and what not. At my coming back, 
I shot at a great bird which I saw sitting upon a tree on the 
side of a great wood. I believe it was the first gun that had 



been fired there since the creation of the world. I had no 
sooner fired, but from all the parts of the wood there arose an 
innumerable number of fowls of many sorts, making a con- 
fused screaming, and crying every one according to his usual 
note ; but not one of them of any kind that I knew. As for the 
creature I killed, I took it to be a kind of a hawk, its color and 
beak resembling it, but had no talons or claws more than com- 
mon ; its flesh was carrion, and fit for nothing. 

Contented with this discovery, I came back to my raft, 
and fell to work to bring my cargo on shore, which took me the 
rest of that day; and what to do with myself at night, I knew 
not, nor indeed where to rest; for I was afraid to lie down on 
the ground, not knowing but some wild beast might devour me, 
though, as I afterwards found, there was really no need for 
those fears. However, as well as I could, I barricaded myself 
round with the chests and boards that I had brought on shore, 
and made a kind of a hut for that night's lodging; as for food, 
I yet saw not which way to supply myself, except that I had 
seen two or three creatures like hares run out of the woods 
where I shot the fowl. 

I now began to consider, that I might yet get a great many 
things out of the ship, which would be useful to me, and par- 
ticularly some of the rigging and sails, and such other things as 
might come to land ; and I resolved to make another voyage on 
board the vessel, if possible. And as I knew that the first 
storm that blew must necessarily break her all in pieces, I re- 
solved to set all other things apart till I got everything out of 
the ship that I could get. Then I called a council, that is to 



say, in my thoughts, whether I should take back the raft, but 
this appeared impracticable ; so I resolved to go as before, when 
the tide was down; and I did so, only that I stripped before I 
went from my hut, having nothing on but a checkered shirt and 
a pair of linen drawers, and a pair of pumps on my feet. 

I got on board the ship as before, and prepared a second 
raft, and having had experience of the first, I neither made this 
so unwieldy, nor loaded it so hard; but yet I brought away 
several things very useful to me; as, first, in the carpenter's 
store I found two or three bags full of nails and spikes, a great 
screw-jack, a dozen or two of hatchets, and above all that most 
useful thing called a grindstone. All these I secured, together 
with several things belonging to the gunner, particularly two 
or three iron crows, and two barrels of musket bullets, seven 
muskets, and another fowling-piece, with some small quantity 
of powder more; a large bag full of small-shot, and a great 
roll of sheet lead; but this last was so heavy, I could not hoist 
it up to get it over the ship's side. Besides these things, I took 
all the men's clothes that I could find, and a spare fore-top sail, 
a hammock, and some bedding, and with this I loaded my sec- 
ond raft, and brought them all safe on shore, to my very great 

I was under some apprehensions during my absence from 
the land, that at least my provisions might be devoured on 
shore; but when I came back, I found no sign of any visitor, 
only there sat a creature like a wild cat upon one of the chests, 
which, when I came towards it, ran away a little distance, and 
then stood still. She sat very composed and unconcerned, and 



looked full in my face, as if she had a mind to be acquainted 
with me. I presented my gun at her ; but as she did not under- 
stand it, she was perfectly unconcerned at it, nor did she offer 
to stir away; upon which I tossed her a bit of biscuit, though, 
by the way, I was not very free of it, for my store was not 
great. However, I spared her a bit, I say, and she went to it, 
smelled of it, and ate it and looked (as pleased) for more; but 
I thanked her and could spare no more, so she marched off. 

Having got my second cargo on shore, though I was fain 
to open the barrels of powder and bring them by parcels, for 
they were too heavy, being large casks, I went to work to make 
me a little tent with the sail and some poles which I cut for that 
purpose; and into this tent I brought everything that I knew 
would spoil either with rain or sun; and I piled all the empty 
chests and casks up in a circle round the tent, to fortify it from 
any sudden attempt, either from man or beast. 

When I had done this I blocked up the door of the tent 
with some boards within, and an empty chest set up on end 
without ; and spreading one of the beds upon the ground, laying 
my two pistols just at my head, and my gun at length by me, I 
went to bed for the first time, and slept very quietly all night, 
for I was very weary and heavy; for the night before I had 
slept little, and had labored very hard all day, as well to fetch 
all those things from the ship, as to get them on shore. 

I had the biggest magazine of all kinds now that ever was 
laid up, I believe, for one man ; but I was not satisfied still, for 
while the ship sat upright in that posture, I thought I ought 
to get everything out of her that I could. So every day at low 



water I went on board, and brought away something or other ; 
but, particularly, the third time I went I brought away as much 
of the rigging as I could, as also all the small ropes and rope- 
twine I could get, with a piece of spare canvas, which was to 
mend the sails upon occasion, the barrel of wet gunpowder; in 
a word, I brought away all the sails first and last, only that I 
was fain to cut them in pieces, and bring as much at a time as 
I could; for they were no more useful to be sails, but as mere 
canvas only. 

But that which comforted me more still was, that at last of 
all, after I had made five or six such voyages as these, and 
thought I had nothing more to expect from the ship that was 
worth my meddling with ; I say, after all this, I found a great 
hogshead of bread, and three large runlets of rum or spirits and 
a box of sugar, and a barrel of fine flour; this was surprising to 
me, because I had given over expecting any more provisions, 
except what was spoilt by the water. I soon emptied the hogs- 
head of that bread, and wrapped it up parcel by parcel in pieces 
of the sails, which I cut out ; and, in a word, I got all this safe 
on shore also. 

The next day I made another voyage. And now, having 
plundered the ship of what was portable and fit to hand out, 
I began with the cables; and cutting the great cable into pieces, 
such as I could move, I got two cables and a hawser on shore, 
with all the iron-work I could get; and having cut down the 
sprit-sail-yard, and the mizzen-yard, and everything I could to 
make a large raft, I loaded it with all those heavy goods, and 
came away. But my good luck began now to leave me; for 



this raft was so unwieldy, and so overladen, that after I was 
entered the little cove where I had landed the rest of my goods, 
not being able to guide it so handily as I did the other, it over- 
set, and threw me and all my cargo into the water. As for 
myself, it was no great harm, for I was near the shore ; but as 
to my cargo, it was great part of it lost, especially the iron, 
which I expected would have been of great use to me. How- 
ever, when the tide was out I got most of the pieces of cable 
ashore, and some of the iron, though with infinite labor ; for I 
was fain to dip for it into the water, a work which fatigued me 
very much. After this I went every day on board, and 
brought away what I could get. 

I had been now thirteen days on shore, and had been eleven 
times on board the ship ; in which time I had brought away all 
that one pair of hands could well be supposed capable to bring, 
though I believe verily, had the calm weather held, I should 
have brought away the whole ship piece by piece. But pre- 
paring the twelfth time to go on board, I found the wind begin 
to rise. However, at low water I went on board, and though 
I thought I had rummaged the cabin so effectually as that 
nothing more could be found, yet I discovered a locker with 
drawers in it, in one of which I found two or three razors, and 
one pair of large scissors, with some ten or a dozen of good 
knives and forks; in another, I found about thirty-six pounds 
value in money, some European coin, some Brazil, some pieces 
of eight, some gold, some silver. 

I smiled to myself at the sight of this money. "O drug!" 
said I aloud, "what art thou good for? Thou art not worth 



to me, no, not the taking off of the ground ; one of those knives 
is worth all this heap. I have no manner of use for thee; even 
remain where thou art, and go to the bottom as a creature 
whose life is not worth saving." However, upon second 
thoughts, I took it away; and wrapping all this in a piece of 
canvas, I began to think of making another raft ; but while I 
was preparing this, I found the sky overcast, and the wind 
began to rise, and in a quarter of an hour it blew a fresh gale 
from the shore. It presently occurred to me that it was in 
vain to pretend to make a raft with the wind off shore, and that 
it was my business to be gone before the tide of flood began, 
otherwise I might not be able to reach the shore at all. Ac- 
cordingly I let myself down into the water, and swam across 
the channel, which lay between the ship and the sands, and even 
that with difficulty enough, partly with the weight of the 
things I had about me, and partly the roughness of the water ; 
for the wind rose very hastily, and before it was quite high 
water it blew a storm. 

But I was gotten home to my little tent, where I lay with 
all my wealth about me very secure. It blew very hard all 
that night, and in the morning, when I looked out, behold, no 
more ship was to be seen. I was a little surprised, but recov- 
ered myself with this satisfactory reflection, viz., that I had 
lost no time, nor abated no diligence, to get everything out of 
her that could be useful to me, and that indeed there was little 
left in her that I was able to bring away if I had had more 

I now gave over any more thoughts of the ship, or of any- 



thing out of her, except what might drive on shore from her 
wreck, as indeed divers pieces of her afterwards did; but those 
things were of small use to me. 

My thoughts were now wholly employed about securing 
myself against either savages, if any should appear, or wild 
beasts, if any were in the island; and I had many thoughts of 
the method how to do this, and what kind of dwelling to make, 
whether I should make me a cave in the earth, or a tent upon 
the earth ; and, in short, I resolved upon both, the manner and 
description of which it may not be improper to give an ac- 
count of. 

I soon found the place I was in was not for my settlement, 
particularly because it was upon a low moorish ground near 
the sea, and I believed would not be wholesome; and more par- 
ticularly because there was no fresh water near it. So I re- 
solved to find a more healthy and more convenient spot of 

I consulted several things in my situation, which I found 
would be proper for me. First, health and fresh water, I just 
now mentioned. Secondly, shelter from the heat of the sun. 
Thirdly, security from ravenous creatures, whether men or 
beasts. Fourthly, a view to the sea, that if God sent any ship 
in sight I might not lose any advantage for my deliverance, of 
which I was not willing to banish all my expectation yet. 

In search of a place proper for this, I found a little plain 
on the side of a rising hill, whose front towards this little plain 
was steep as a house-side, so that nothing could come down 
upon me from the top ; on the side of this rock there was a hoi- 



low place, worn a little way in, like the entrance or door of a 
cave; but there was not really any cave, or way into the rock 
at all. 

On the flat of the green, just before this hollow place, I 
resolved to pitch my tent. This plain was not above an hun- 
dred yards broad, and about twice as long, and lay like a green 
before my door, and at the end of it descended irregularly every 
way down into the low grounds by the seaside. It was on the 
N.N.W. side of the hill, so that I was sheltered from the heat 
every day, till it came to a W. and by S. sun, or thereabouts, 
which in those countries is near the setting. 

Before I set up my tent, I drew a half circle before the 
hollow place, which took in about ten yards in its semi-diameter 
from the rock, and twenty yards in its diameter from its begin- 
ning and ending. In this half-circle I pitched two rows of 
strong stakes, driving them into the ground till they stood very 
firm like piles, the biggest end being out of the ground about 
five feet and a half, and sharpened on the top. The two rows 
did not stand above six inches from one another. 

Then I took the pieces of cable which I had cut in the ship, 
and laid them in rows one upon another, within the circle, be- 
tween these two rows of stakes, up to the top, placing other 
stakes in the inside leaning against them, about two feet and a 
half high, like a spur to a post; and this fence was so strong, 
that neither man nor beast could get into it, or over it. This 
cost me a great deal of time and labor, especially to cut the piles 
in the woods, bring them to the place, and drive them into the 


The entrance into this place I made to be not by a door, but 
by a short ladder, to go over the top ; which ladder, when I was 
in, I lifted over after me, and so I was completely fenced in, 
and fortified, as I thought, from all the world, and conse- 
quently slept secure in the night, which otherwise I could not 
have done; though, as it appeared afterwards, there was no 
need of all this caution from the enemies that I apprehended 
danger from. 



Robinson Carries all His Riches, Provisions, etc., into His Habitation 
— Dreariness of Solitude — Consolatory Reflections 

INTO this fence or fortress, with infinite labor, I carried all 
my riches, all my provisions, ammunition, and stores, of 
which you have the account above ; and I made me a large 
tent, which, to preserve me from the rains that in one part of 
the year are very violent there, I made double, viz., one smaller 
tent within, and one larger tent above it, and covered the upper- 
most with a large tarpaulin, which I had saved among the sails. 
And now I lay no more for a while in the bed which I had 
brought on shore, but in a hammock, which was indeed a very 
good one, and belonged to the mate of the ship. 

Into this tent I brought all my provisions, and everything 
that would spoil by the wet; and having thus enclosed all my 
goods, I made up the entrance, which, till now, I had left open, 
and so passed and repassed, as I said, by a short ladder. 

When I had done this, I began to work my way into the 
rock; and bringing all the earth and stones that I dug down 
out through my tent, I laid them up within my fence in the 
nature of a terrace, so that it raised the ground within about 
a foot and a half; and thus I made me a cave just behind my 
tent, which served me like a cellar to my house. 

It cost me much labor, and many days, before all these 



things were brought to perfection, and therefore I must go 
back to some other things which took up some of my thoughts. 
At the same time it happened, after I had laid my scheme for 
the setting up my tent, and making the cave, that a storm of 
rain falling from a thick dark cloud, a sudden flash of lightning 
happened, and after that a great clap of thunder, as is natu- 
rally the effect of it. I was not so much surprised with the 
lightning, as I was with a thought which darted into my mind 
as swift as the lightning itself . O my powder! My very heart 
sunk within me when I thought, that at one blast all my powder 
might be destroyed, on which, not my defence only, but the pro- 
viding me food, as I thought, entirely depended. I was noth- 
ing near so anxious about my own danger; though had the 
powder took fire, I had never known who had hurt me. 

Such impression did this make upon me, that after the storm 
was over I laid aside all my works, my building, and fortifying, 
and applied myself to make bags and boxes to separate the 
powder, and keep it a little and a little in a parcel, in hope that 
whatever might come it might not all take fire at once, and to 
keep it so apart, that it should not be possible to make one 
part fire another. I finished this work in about a fortnight; 
and I think my powder, which in all was about 240 pounds 
weight, was divided in not less than a hundred parcels. As to 
the barrel that had been wet, I did not apprehend any danger 
from that, so I placed it in my new cave, which in my fancy I 
called my kitchen, and the rest I hid up and down in holes 
among the rocks, so that no wet might come to it, marking very 
carefully where I laid it. 



In the interval of time while this was doing, I went out 
once, at least, every day with my gun, as well to divert myself, 
as to see if I could kill anything fit for food, and as near as I 
could to acquaint myself with what the island produced. The 
first time I went out, I presently discovered that there were 
goats in the island, which was a great satisfaction to me; but 
then it was attended with this misfortune to me, viz., that they 
were so shy, so subtle, and so swift of foot, that it was the difn- 
cultest thing in the world to come at them. But I was not dis- 
couraged at this, not doubting but I might now and then shoot 
one, as it soon happened ; for after I had found their haunts a 
little, I laid wait in this manner for them. I observed if they 
saw me in the valleys, though they were upon the rocks, they 
would run away as in a terrible fright ; but if they were feeding 
in the valleys, and I was upon the rocks, they took no notice 
of me, from whence I concluded that, by the position of their 
optics, their sight was so directed downward, that they did not 
readily see objects that were above them. So afterwards I 
took this method ; I always climbed the rocks first to get above 
them, and then had frequently a fair mark. The first shot I 
made among these creatures I killed a she-goat, which had a 
little kid by her, which she gave suck to, which grieved me 
heartily; but when the old one fell, the kid stood stock still by 
her till I came and took her up; and not only so, but when I 
carried the old one with me upon my shoulder, the kid followed 
me quite to my enclosure ; upon which I laid down the dam, and 
took the kid in my arms, and carried it over my pale, in hopes 
to have bred it up tame; but it would not eat, so I was forced 



to kill it, and eat it myself. These two supplied me with flesh 
a great while, for I ate sparingly, and saved my provisions, my 
bread especially, as much as possibly I could. 

Having now fixed my habitation, I found it absolutely 
necessary to provide a place to make a fire in, and fuel to burn; 
and what I did for that, as also how I enlarged my cave, and 
what conveniences I made, I shall give a full account of in its 
place. But I must first give some little account of myself, and 
of my thoughts about living, which it may well be supposed 
were not a few. 

I had a dismal prospect of my condition; for as I was not 
cast away upon that island without being driven, as is said, by 
a violent storm, quite out of the course of our intended voyage, 
and a great way, viz., some hundreds of leagues out of the 
ordinary course of the trade of mankind, I had great reason 
to consider it as a determination of Heaven, that in this deso- 
late place, and in this desolate manner, I should end my life. 
The tears would run plentifully down my face when I made 
these reflections, and sometimes I would expostulate with my- 
self, why Providence should thus completely ruin its creatures, 
and render them so absolute^ miserable, so without help aban- 
doned, so entirely depressed, that it could hardly be rational 
to be thankful for such a life. 

But something always returned swift upon me to check 
these thoughts, and to reprove me; and particularly one day, 
walking with my gun in my hand by the seaside, I was very 
pensive upon the subject of my present condition, when 
Reason, as it were, expostulated with me t'other way, thus: 



"Well, you are in a desolate condition, it is true, but pray re- 
member, where are the rest of you? Did not you come eleven 
of you into the boat? Where are the ten? Why were they 
not saved, and you lost? Why were you singled out? Is it 
better to be here, or there?" And then I pointed to the sea. 
All evils are to be considered with the good that is in them, and 
with what worse attends them. 

Then it occurred to me again, how I was furnished for my 
subsistence, and what would have been my case if it had not 
happened, which was an hundred thousand to one, that the ship 
floated from the place where she first struck and was driven so 
near to the shore that I had time to get all these things out of 
her ; what would have been my case, if I had been to have lived 
in the condition in which I at first came on shore, without 
necessaries of life, or necessaries to supply and procure them? 
"Particularly," said I aloud (though to myself), "what should 
I have done without a gun, without ammunition, without any 
tools to make anything or to work with, without clothes, bed- 
ding, a tent, or any manner of covering?" and that now I had 
all these to a sufficient quantity, and was in a fair way to pro- 
vide myself in such a manner, as to live without my gun when 
my ammunition was spent; so that I had a tolerable view of 
subsisting without any want as long as I lived. For I consid- 
ered from the beginning how I would provide for the accidents 
that might happen, and for the time that was to come, even not 
only after my ammunition should be spent, but even after my 
health or strength should decay. 

I confess I had not entertained any notion of my ammuni- 



tion being destroyed at one blast — I mean, my powder being 
blown up by lightning ; and this made the thoughts of it so sur- 
prising to me when it lightened and thundered, as I observed 
just now. 

And now being to enter into a melancholy relation of a 
scene of silent life, such, perhaps, as was never heard of in the 
world before, I shall take it from its beginning, and continue it 
in its order. It was, by my account, the 30th of September 
when, in the manner as above said, I first set foot upon this 
horrid island, when the sun being to us in its autumnal equinox, 
was almost just over my head, for I reckoned myself, by obser- 
vation, to be in the latitude of 9 degrees 22 minutes north of 
the line. 



Robinson's Mode of Reckoning Time — Difficulties Arising from Want 
of Tools — He Arranges His Habitation 

AFTER I had been there about ten or twelve days, it 
came into my thoughts that I should lose my reckon- 
ing of time for want of books and pen and ink, and 
should even forget the Sabbath days from the working days; 
but to prevent this, I cut it with my knife upon a large post, in 
capital letters ; and making it into a great cross, I set it up on 
the shore where I first landed, viz., "I came on shore here on 
the 30th of September, 1659." Upon the sides of this square 
post I cut every day a notch with my knife, and every seventh 
notch was as long again as the rest, and every first day of the 
month as long again as that long one ; and thus I kept my cal- 
endar, or weekly, monthly, and yearly reckoning of time. 

In the next place we are to observe, that among the many 
chings which I brought out of the ship in the several voyages, 
which, as above mentioned, I made to it, I got several things of 
less value, but not all less useful to me, which I omitted setting 
down before; as in particular, pens, ink, and paper, several 
parcels in the captain's, mate's, gunner's, and carpenter's keep- 
ing, three or four compasses, some mathematical instruments, 
dials, perspectives, charts, and books of navigation, all of which 
I huddled together, whether I might want them or no. Also 



I found three very good Bibles, which came to me in my cargo 
from England, and which I had packed up among my things ; 
some Portuguese books also, and among them two or three 
Popish prayer-books, and several other books, all which I care- 
full y secured. And I must not forget, that we had in the ship 
a dog and two cats, of whose eminent history I may have occa- 
sion to say something in its place; for I carried both the cats 
with me; and as for the dog, he jumped out of the ship of him- 
self, and swam on shore to me the day after I went on shore 
with my first cargo, and was a trusty servant to me many 
years. I wanted nothing that he could fetch me, nor any com- 
pany that he could make up to me ; I only wanted to have him 
talk to me, but that would not do. As I observed before, I 
found pen, ink, and paper, and I husbanded them to the 
utmost ; and I shall show that while my ink lasted, I kept things 
very exact ; but after that was gone, I could not, for I could not 
make any ink by any means that I could devise. 

And this put me in mind that I wanted many things, not- 
withstanding all that I had amassed together; and of these, 
this of ink was one, as also spade, pick-axe, and shovel, to dig 
or remove the earth, needles, pins, and thread; as for linen, I 
soon learned to want that without much difficulty. 

This want of tools made every work I did go on heavily; 
and it was near a whole year before I had entirely finished mj^ 
little pale or surrounded habitation. The piles or stakes, which 
were as heavy as I could well lift, were a long time in cutting 
and preparing in the woods, and more by far in bringing home; 
so that I spent sometimes two days in cutting and bringing 


© C. B. C 

' ' — and making it into a great cross, I set it up on the shore where I first landed 


home one of those posts, and a third day in driving it into the 
ground ; for which purpose I got a heavy piece of wood at first, 
but at last bethought myself of one of the iron crows, which, 
however, though I found it, yet it made driving those posts or 
piles very laborious and tedious work. 

But what need I have been concerned at the tediousness of 
anything I had to do, seeing I had time enough to do it in? Nor 
had I any other employment, if that had been over, at least, 
that I could foresee, except the ranging the island to seek for 
food, which I did more or less every day. 

I now began to consider seriously my condition, and the 
circumstance I was reduced to; and I drew up the state of my 
affairs in writing; not so much to leave them to any that were 
to come after me, for I was like to have but few heirs, as to 
deliver my thoughts from daily poring upon them, and afflict- 
ing my mind. And as my reason began now to master my 
despondency, I began to comfort myself as well as I could, and 
to set the good against the evil, that I might have something to 
distinguish my case from worse; and I stated it very impar- 
tially, like debtor and creditor, the comforts I enjoyed against 
the miseries I suffered, thus: 

Evil. Good 
I am cast upon a horrible But I am alive, and not 
desolate island, void of all drowned, as all my ship's corn- 
hope of recovery. pany was. 

I am singled out and sepa- But I am singled out, too, 

rated, as it were, from all the from all the ship's crew to be 



world to be miserable. spared from death; and He 

that miraculously saved me 
from death, can deliver me 
from this condition. 
I am divided from man- But I am not starved and 

kind, a solitaire, one banished perishing on a barren place, 

from human society. affording no sustenance. 

I have not clothes to cover But I am in a hot climate, 

me. where if I had clothes I could 

hardly wear them. 
I am without any defence But I am cast on an island, 

or means to resist any violence where I see no wild beasts to 

of man or beast. hurt me, as I saw on the coast 

of Africa; and what if I had 
been shipwrecked there? 
I have no soul to speak to, But God wonderfully sent 

or relieve me. the ship in near enough to the 

shore, that I have gotten out 
so many necessary things as 
will either supply my wants, 
or enable me to supply myself 
even as long as I live. 

Upon the whole, here was an undoubted testimony, that 
there was scarce any condition in the world so miserable, but 
there was something negative or something positive to be thank- 
ful for in it ; and let this stand as a direction from the experi- 
ence of the most miserable of all conditions in this world, that 
we may always find in it something to comfort ourselves from, 



and to set in the description of good and evil on the credit side 
of the account. 

Having now brought my mind a little to relish my condi- 
tion, and given over looking out to sea, to see if I could spy a 
ship; I say, giving over these things, I began to apply myself 
to accommodate my way of living, and to make things as easy 
to me as I could. 

I have already described my habitation, which was a tent 
under the side of a rock, surrounded with a strong pale of posts 
and cables; but I might now rather call it a wall, for I raised 
a kind of wall up against it of turfs, about two feet thick on 
the outside, and after some time — I think it was a year and a 
half — I raised rafters from it leading to the rock, and thatched 
or covered it with boughs of trees and such things as I could 
get to keep out the rain, which I found at some times of the 
year very violent. 

I have already observed how I brought all my goods into 
this pale, and into the cave which I had made behind me. But 
I must observe, too, that at first this was a confused heap of 
goods, which as they lay in no order, so they took up all my 
place; I had no room to turn myself. So I set myself to en- 
large my cave and works farther into the earth; for it was a 
loose sandy rock, which yielded easily to the labor I bestowed 
on it. And so, when I found I was pretty safe as to beasts of 
prey, I worked sideways to the right hand into the rock; and 
then, turning to the right again, worked quite out, and made 
me a door to come out on the outside of my pale or fortifica- 
tion. This gave me not only egress and regress, as it were a 



back-way to my tent and to my storehouse, but gave me room 
to stow my goods. 

And now I began to apply myself to make such necessary 
things as I found I most wanted, as particularly a chair and a 
table; for without these I was not able to enjoy the few com- 
forts I had in the world. I could not write or eat, or do several 
things with so much pleasure without a table. 

So I went to work; and here I must needs observe, that as 
reason is the substance and original of the mathematics, so by 
stating and squaring everything by reason, and by making the 
most rational judgment of things, every man may be in time 
master of every mechanic art. I had never handled a tool in 
my life; and yet in time, by labor, application, and contrivance, 
I found at last that I wanted nothing but I could have made 
it, especially if I had had tools. However, I made abundance 
of things even without tools, and some with no more tools than 
an adze and a hatchet, which, perhaps, were never made that 
way before, and that with infinite labor. For example, if I 
wanted a board, I had no other way but to cut down a tree, set 
it on an edge before me, and hew it flat on either side with my 
axe, till I had brought it to be thin as a plank, and then dub it 
smooth with my adze. It is true, by this method I could make 
but one board out of a whole tree; but this I had no remedy 
for but patience, any more than I had for the prodigious deal 
of time and labor which it took me up to make a plank or 
board. But my time or labor was little worth, and so it was 
as well employed one way as another. 

However, I made me a table and a chair, as I observed 



above, in the first place, and this I did out of the short pieces 
of boards that I brought on my raft from the ship. But when 
I had wrought out some boards, as above, I made large shelves 
of the breadth of a foot and a half one over another, all along 
one side of my cave, to lay all my tools, nails, and iron-work ; 
and, in a word, to separate everything at large in their places, 
that I might come easily at them. I knocked pieces into the 
wall of the rock to hang my guns and all things that would 
hang up; so that had my cave been to be seen, it looked like 
a general magazine of all necessary things; and I had every- 
thing so ready at my hand, that it was a great pleasure to me 
to see all my goods in such order, and especially to find my 
stock of all necessaries so great. 

And now it was when I began to keep a journal of every 
day's employment ; for, indeed, at first I was in too much hurry, 
and not only hurry as to labor, but in too much discomposure 
of mind; and my journal would have been full of many dull 
things. For example, I must have said thus: Sept. the 
30th. — After I got to shore, and had escaped drowning, in- 
stead of being thankful to God for my deliverance, having first 
vomited with the great quantity of salt water which was gotten 
into my stomach, and recovering myself a little, I ran about the 
shore, wringing my hands, and beating my head and face, ex- 
claiming at my misery, and crying out, I was undone, undone, 
till, tired and faint, I was forced to lie down on the ground to 
repose; but durst not sleep, for fear of being devoured. 

Some days after this, and after I had been on board the 
ship, and got all that I could out of her, yet I could not for- 



bear getting up to the top of a little mountain, and looking out 
to sea, in hopes of seeing a ship ; then fancy at a vast distance I 
spied a sail, please myself with the hopes of it, and then, after 
looking steadily till I was almost blind, lose it quite, and sit 
down and weep like a child, and thus increase my misery by my 

But having gotten over these things in some measure, and 
having settled my household stuff and habitation, made me a 
table and a chair, and all as handsome about me as I could, I 
began to keep my journal, of which I shall here give you the 
copy (though in it will be told all these particulars over again) 
as long as it lasted; for, having no more ink, I was forced to 
leave it off. 



Robinson's Journal — Details of His Domestic Economy and Con- 
trivances — Shock of an Earthquake 

SEPTEMBER 30, 1659.— I, poor miserable Robinson 
Crusoe, being shipwrecked, during a dreadful storm, in 
the offing, came on shore on this dismal unfortunate 
island, which I called the Island of Despair, all the rest of the 
ship's company being drowned, and myself almost dead. 

All the rest of that day I spent in afflicting myself at the 
dismal circumstances I was brought to, viz., I had neither food, 
house, clothes, weapon, nor place to fly to ; and in despair of any 
relief, saw nothing but death before me ; either that I should be 
devoured by wild beasts, murdered by savages, or starved to 
death for want of food. At the approach of night, I slept in a 
tree for fear of wild creatures, but slept soundly, though it 
rained all night. 

Oct. 1. — In the morning I saw, to my great surprise, the 
ship had floated with the high tide, and was driven on shore 
again much nearer the island ; which, as it was some comfort on 
one hand, for seeing her sit upright, and not broken to pieces, 
I hoped, if the wind abated, I might get on board, and get some 
food and necessaries out of her for my relief; so, on the other 
hand, it renewed my grief at the loss of my comrades, who, I 



imagined, if we had all stayed on board, might have saved the 
ship, or at least that they would not have been all drowned as 
they were; and that had the men been saved, we might perhaps 
have built us a boat out of the ruins of the ship, to have carried 
us to some other part of the world. I spent great part of this 
day in perplexing myself on these things ; but at length seeing 
the ship ahnost dry, I went upon the sand as near as I could, 
and then swam on board; this day also it continued raining, 
though with no wind at all. 

From the 1st of October to the 24th. — All these days en- 
tirely spent in many several voyages to get all I could out of 
the ship, which I brought on shore, every tide of flood, upon 
rafts. Much rain also in these days, though with some inter- 
vals of fair weather ; but, it seems, this was the rainy season. 

Oct. 20. — I overset my raft, and all the goods I had got 
upon it ; but being in shoal water, and the things being chiefly 
heavy, I recovered many of them when the tide was out. 

Oct. 25. — It rained all night and all day, with some gusts 
of wind, during which time the ship broke in pieces, the wind 
blowing a little harder than before, and was no more to be seen, 
except the wreck of her, and that only at low water. I spent 
this day in covering and securing the goods which I had saved, 
that the rain might not spoil them. 

Oct. 26. — I walked about the shore almost all day to find 
out a place to fix my habitation, greatly concerned to secure 
myself from an attack in the night, either from wild beasts or 
men. Towards night I fixed upon a proper place under a 
rock, and marked out a semicircle for my encampment, which I 



resolved to strengthen with a work, wall, or fortification made 
of double piles, lined within with cables, and without with turf. 

From the 26th to the 30th I worked very hard in carrying 
all my goods to my new habitation, though some part of the 
time it rained exceeding hard. 

The 31st, in the morning, I went out into the island with 
my gun to seek for some food, and discover the country ; when I 
killed a she-goat, and her kid followed me home, which I after- 
wards killed also, because it would not feed. 

Nov. 1. — I set up my tent under a rock, and lay there the 
first night, making it as large as I could, with stakes driven in 
to swing my hammock upon. 

Nov. 2. — I set up all my chests and boards, and the pieces 
of timber which made my rafts, and with them formed a fence 
round me, a little within the place I had marked out for my 

Nov. 3. — I went out with my gun, and killed two fowls like 
ducks, which were very good food. In the afternoon went to 
work to make me a table. 

A 7 ov . 4. — This morning I began to order my times of work, 
of going out with my gun, time of sleep, and time of diversion, 
viz., every morning I walked out with my gun for two or three 
hours, if it did not rain; then employed myself to work till 
about eleven o'clock ; then eat what I had to live on ; and from 
twelve to two I lay down to sleep, the weather being excessive 
hot; and then in the evening to work again. The working part 
of this day and of the next were wholly employed in making 
my table ; for I was yet but a very sorry workman, though time 



and necessity made me a complete natural mechanic soon after, 
as I believe it would do any one else. 

Nov. 5. — This day went abroad with my gun and my dog, 
and killed a wild cat; her skin pretty soft, but her flesh good 
for nothing. Every creature I killed, I took off the skins and 
preserved them. Coming back by the sea-shore, I saw many 
sorts of sea-fowls, which I did not understand; but was sur- 
prised, and almost frightened, with two or three seals, which, 
while I was gazing at, not well knowing what they were, got 
into the sea, and escaped me for that time. 

Nov. 6. — After my morning walk I went to work with my 
table again, and finished it, though not to my liking; nor was it 
long before I learned to mend it. 

Nov. 7. — Now it began to be settled fair weather. The 
7th, 8th, 9th, 10th, and part of the 12th (for the 11th was 
Sunday) I took wholly up to make me a chair, and with much 
ado, brought it to a tolerable shape, but never to please me ; and 
even in the making, I pulled it in pieces several times. Note, 
I soon neglected my keeping Sundays ; for, omitting my mark 
for them on my post, I forgot which was which. 

Nov. 13. — This day it rained, which refreshed me exceed- 
ingly, and cooled the earth; but it was accompanied with ter- 
rible thunder and lightning, which frightened me dreadfully, 
for fear of my powder. As soon as it was over, I resolved to 
separate my stock of powder into as many little parcels as 
possible, that it might not be in danger. 

Nov. 14, 15, 16. — These three days I spent in making little 
square chests or boxes, which might hold about a pound, or 



two pound at most, of powder; and so putting the powder in, 
I stowed it in places as secure and remote from one another as 
possible. On one of these three days I killed a large bird that 
was good to eat, but I know not what to call it. 

Nov. 17. — This day I began to dig behind my tent into the 
rock, to make room for my farther convenience. Note, three 
things I wanted exceedingly for this work, viz., a pick-axe, a 
shovel, and a wheelbarrow or basket; so I desisted from my 
work, and began to consider how to supply that want, and make 
me some tools. As for a pick-axe, I made use of the iron 
crows, which were proper enough, though heavy; but the next 
thing was a shovel or spade. This was so absolutely necessary, 
that indeed I could do nothing effectually without it ; but what 
kind of one to make, I knew not. 

Nov. 18. — The next day, in searching the woods, I found a 
tree of that wood, or like it, which in the Brazils they call the 
iron tree, for its exceeding hardness ; of this, with great labor, 
and almost spoiling my axe, I cut a piece, and brought it home, 
too, with difficulty enough, for it was exceeding heavy. 

The excessive hardness of the wood, and having no other 
way, made me a long while upon this machine, for I worked 
it effectually, by little and little, into the form of a shovel or 
spade, the handle exactly shaped like ours in England, only 
that the broad part having no iron shod upon it at bottom, it 
would not last me so long. However, it served well enough for 
the uses which I had occasion to put it to; but never was a 
shovel, I believe, made after that fashion, or so long a-making. 

I was still deficient, for I wanted a basket or a wheelbarrow. 



A basket I could not make by any means, having no such 
things as twigs that would bend to make wicker-ware, at least 
none yet found out. And as to a wheelbarrow, I fancied I 
could make all but the wheel, but that I had no notion of, 
neither did I know how to go about it ; besides, I had no possible 
way to make the iron gudgeons for the spindle or axis of the 
wheel to run in, so I gave it over; and so for carrying away the 
earth which I dug out of the cave, I made me a thing like a hod 
which the laborers carry mortar in, when they serve the brick- 

This was not so difficult to me as the making the shovel; 
and yet this, and the shovel, and the attempt which I made in 
vain to make a wheelbarrow, took me up no less than four days ; 
I mean always, excepting my morning walk with my gun, 
which I seldom failed, and very seldom failed also bringing 
home something fit to eat. 

Nov. 23. — My other work having now stood still because 
of my making these tools, when they were finished I went on, 
and working every day, as my strength and time allowed, I 
spent eighteen days entirely in widening and deepening my 
cave, that it might hold my goods commodiously. 

Note. — During all this time I worked to make this room or 
cave spacious enough to accommodate me as a warehouse or 
magazine, a kitchen, a dining-room, and a cellar; as for my 
lodging, I kept to the tent, except that sometimes in the wet 
season of the year it rained so hard, that I could not keep my- 
self dry, which caused me afterwards to cover all my place 
within my pale with long poles, in the form of rafters, leaning 



against the rock, and load them with flags and large leaves of 
trees, like a thatch. 

Dec. 10. — I began now to think my cave or vault finished, 
when on a sudden (it seems I had made it too large) a great 
quantity of earth fell down from the top and one side, so much, 
that, in short, it frightened me, and not without reason too ; for 
if I had been under it, I had never wanted a grave-digger. 
Upon this disaster I had a great deal of work to do over again ; 
for I had the loose earth to carry out ; and, which was of more 
importance, I had the ceiling to prop up, so that I might be 
sure no more would come down. 

Dec. 11. — This day I went to work with it accordingly, and 
got two shores or posts pitched upright to the top, with two 
pieces of boards across over each post. This I finished the next 
day; and setting more posts up with boards, in about a week 
more I had the roof secure; and the posts standing in rows, 
served me for partitions to part of my house. 

Dec. 17. — From this day to the twentieth I placed shelves, 
and knocked up nails on the posts to hang everything up that 
could be hung up ; and now I began to be in some order within 

Dec. 20. — Now I carried everything into the cave, and 
began to furnish my house, and set up some pieces of boards, 
like a dresser, to order my victuals upon; but boards began to 
be very scarce with me ; also I made me another table. 

Dec. 24. — Much rain all night and all day; no stirring 

Dec. 25. — Rain all day. 



Dec. 26. — No rain, and the earth much cooler than before, 
and pleasanter. 

Dec. 27. — Killed a young goat, and lamed another, so that 
I caught it, and led it home on a string. When I had it home, 
I bound and splintered up its leg, which was broke. N.B. — I 
took such care of it, that it lived; and the leg grew well and as 
strong as ever ; but by my nursing it so long it grew tame, and 
fed upon the little green at my door, and would not go away. 
This was the first time that I entertained a thought of breeding 
up some tame creatures, that I might have food when my pow- 
der and shot was all spent. 

Dec. 28, 29, 30. — Great heats and no breeze, so that there 
was no stirring abroad, except in the evening, for food. This 
time I spent in putting all my things in order within doors. 

Jan. 1. — Very hot still, but I went abroad early and late 
with my gun, and lay still in the middle of the day. This 
evening, going farther into the valleys which lay towards the 
centre of the island, I found there was plenty of goats, though 
exceeding shy, and hard to come at. However I resolved to 
try if I could not bring my dog to hunt them down. 

Jan. 2. — Accordingly, the next day, I went out with my 
dog, and set him upon the goats ; but I was mistaken, for they 
all faced about upon the dog ; and he knew his danger too well, 
for he would not come near them. 

Jan. 3. — I began my fence or wall; which, being still jeal- 
ous of my being attacked by somebody, I resolved to make 
rery thick and strong. 

N.B. — This wall being described before, I purposely omit 



what was said in the journal. It is sufficient to observe that I 
was no less time than from the 3rd of January to the 14th of 
April working, finishing, and perfecting this wall, though it 
was no more than about twenty-four yards in length, being a 
half circle from one place in the rock to another place about 
eight yards from it, the door of the cave being in the centre 
behind it. 

All this time I worked very hard, the rains hindering me 
many days, nay, sometimes weeks together; but I thought I 
should never be perfectly secure till this wall was finished. 
And it is scarce credible what inexpressible labor everything 
was done with, especially the bringing piles out of the woods, 
and driving them into the ground; for I made them much 
bigger than I need to have done. 

When this wall was finished, and the outside double-fenced 
with a turf -wall raised up close to it, I persuaded myself that 
if any people were to come on shore there, they would not per- 
ceive anything like a habitation; and it was very well I did so, 
as may be observed hereafter upon a very remarkable occasion. 

During this time, I made my rounds in the woods for game 
every day, when the rain admitted me, and made frequent dis- 
coveries in these walks of something or other to my advantage ; 
particularly I found a kind of wild pigeons, who built, not 
as wood pigeons, in a tree, but rather as house pigeons, in 
the holes of the rocks. And taking some young ones, I en- 
deavored to breed them up tame, and did so; but when they 
grew older they flew all away, which, perhaps, was at first for 



want of feeding them, for I had nothing to give them. How- 
ever, I frequently found their nests, and got their young ones, 
which were very good meat. 

And now in the managing my household affairs I found 
myself wanting in many things, which I thought at first it 
was impossible for me to make, as indeed, as to some of them, 
it was. For instance, I could never make a cask to be hooped ; 
I had a small runlet or two, as I observed before, but I could 
never arrive to the capacity of making one by them, though 
I spent many weeks about it. I could neither put in the 
heads, or joint the staves so true to one another, as to make 
them hole?, water ; so I gave that also over. 

In the next place, I was at a great loss for candles ; so that 
as soon as ever it was dark, which was generally by seven 
o'clock, I was obliged to go to bed. I remembered the lump 
of beeswax with which I made candles in my African adven- 
ture, but I had none of that now. The only remedy I had 
was, that when I had killed a goat I saved the tallow, and with 
a little dish made of clay, which I baked in the sun, to which I 
added a wick of some oakum, I made me a lamp ; and this gave 
me light, though not a clear steady light like a candle. 

In the middle of all my labors it happened, that rummag- 
ing my things, I found a little bag, which, as I hinted before, 
had been filled with corn for the feeding of poultry, not for 
this voyage, but before, as I suppose, when the ship came 
from Lisbon. What little remainder of corn had been in the 
bag was all devoured with the rats, and I saw nothing in the 
bag but husks and dust ; and being willing to have the bag for 



some other use, I think it was to put powder in, when I divided 
it for fear of the lightning, or some such use, I shook the husks 
of corn out of it on one side of my fortification, under the rock. 
It was a little before the great rains, just now mentioned, that 
I threw this stuff away, taking no notice of anything, and not 
so much as remembering that I had thrown anything there; 
when, about a month after, or thereabout, I saw some few 
stalks of something green shooting out of the ground, which I 
fancied might be some plant I had not seen; but I was sur- 
prised, and perfectly astonished, when, after a little longer time, 
I saw about ten or twelve ears come out, which were perfect 
green barley of the same kind as our European, nay, as our 
English barley. 

It is impossible to express the astonishment and confusion 
of my thoughts on this occasion. I had hitherto acted upon 
no religious foundation at all; indeed, I had very few notions 
of religion in my head, or had entertained any sense of any- 
thing that had befallen me otherwise than as a chance, or, as 
we lightly say, what pleases God ; without so much as inquiring 
into the end of Providence in these things, or His order in 
governing events in the world. But after I saw barley grow 
there, in a climate which I know was not proper for corn, and 
especially that I knew not how it came there, it startled me 
strangely, and I began to suggest that God had miraculously 
caused this grain to grow without any help of seed sown, and 
that it was so directed purely for my sustenance on that wild 
miserable place. 

This touched my heart a little, and brought tears out of 



my eyes; and I began to bless myself, that such a prodigy of 
Xature should happen upon my account; and this was the 
more strange to me, because I saw near it still, all along by the 
side of the rock, some other straggling stalks, which proved 
to be stalks of rice, and which I knew, because I had seen it 
grow in Africa, when I was ashore there. 

I not only thought these the pure productions of Provi- 
dence for my support, but, not doubting but that there was 
more in the place, I w r ent all over that part of the island where 
I had been before, peering in every corner, and under every 
rock, to see for more of it ; but I could not find any. At last 
it occurred to my thoughts that I had shook a bag of chickens' 
meat out in that place, and then the wonder began to cease; 
and I must confess, my religious thankfulness to God's provi- 
dence began to abate too, upon the discovering that all this 
was nothing but what was common; though I ought to have 
been as thankful for so strange and unforeseen Providence, as 
if it had been miraculous; for it was really the work of Provi- 
dence as to me, that should order or appoint, that ten or twelve 
grains of corn should remain unsoiled (when the rats had de- 
stroyed all the rest), as if it had been dropped from lieaven; 
as also that I should throw it out in that particular place, where, 
it being in the shade of a high rock, it sprang out immediately ; 
whereas, if I had thrown it anywhere else at that time, it had 
been burnt up and destroyed. 

I carefully saved the ears of this corn, you may be sure, 
in their season, which was about the end of June; and laying 
up every corn, I resolved to sow them all again, hoping in 



time to have some quantity sufficient to supply me with bread. 
But it was not till the fourth year that I could allow myself 
the least grain of this corn to eat, and even then but sparingly, 
as I shall say afterwards in its order ; for I lost all that I sowed 
the first season, by not observing the proper time ; for I sowed 
it just before the dry season, so that it never came up at all, 
at least not as it would have done; of which in its place. 

Besides this barley, there was, as above, twenty or thirty 
stalks of rice, which I preserved with the same care, and whose 
use was of the same kind, or to the same purpose, viz., to make 
me bread, or rather food ; for I found ways to cook it up with- 
out baking, though I did that also after some time. But to 
return to my journal. 

I worked excessive hard these three or four months to 
get my wall done; and on the 14th of April I closed it up, 
contriving to go into it, not by a door, but over the wall by a 
ladder, that there might be no sign in the outside of my habita- 

April 16. — I finished the ladder, so I went up with the 
ladder to the top, and then pulled it up after me, and let it 
down on the inside. This was a complete enclosure to me ; for 
within I had room enough, and nothing could come at me from 
without, unless it could first mount my wall. 

The very next day after this wall was finished, I had al- 
most had all my labor overthrown at once, and myself killed. 
The case was thus : As I was busy in the inside of it, behind 
my tent, just in the entrance into my cave, I was terribly fright- 
ened with a most dreadful surprising thing indeed; for all on 



a sudden I found the earth come crumbling down from the 
roof of my cave, and from the edge of the hill over my head, 
and two of the posts I had set up in the cave cracked in a fright- 
ful manner. I was heartily scared, but thought nothing of 
what was really the cause, only thinking that the top of my cave 
was falling in, as some of it had done before; and for fear I 
should be buried in it, I ran forward to my ladder; and not 
thinking myself safe there neither, I got over my wall for fear 
of the pieces of the hill which I expected might roll down 
upon me. I was no sooner stepped down upon the firm 
ground, but I plainly saw it was a terrible earthquake; for 
the ground I stood on shook three times at about eight min- 
utes' distance, with three such shocks, as would have over- 
turned the strongest building that could be supposed to have 
stood on the earth; and a great piece of the top of a rock, 
which stood about half a mile from me next the sea, fell down 
with such a terrible noise, as I never heard in all my life. I 
perceived also the very sea was put into violent motion by it; 
and I believe the shocks were stronger under the water than 
on the island. 

I was so amazed with the thing itself, having never felt 
the like, or discoursed with any one that had, that I was like 
one dead or stupefied; and the motion of the earth made my 
stomach sick, like one that was tossed at sea. But the noise of 
the falling of the rock awaked me, as it were, and rousing me 
from the stupefied condition I was in, filled me with horror, and 
I thought of nothing then but the hill falling upon my tent 



and all my household goods, and burying all at once; and this 
sunk my very soul within me a second time. 

After the third shock was over, and I felt no more for 
some time, I began to take courage; and yet I had not heart 
enough to go over my wall again, for fear of being buried 
alive, but sat still upon the ground, greatly cast down and dis- 
consolate, not knowing what to do. All this while I had not 
the least serious religious thought, nothing but the common, 
"Lord, have mercy upon me !" and when it was over, that went 
away too. 

While I sat thus, I found the air overcast, and grow cloudy, 
as if it would rain. Soon after that the wind rose by little 
and little, so that in less than half an hour it blew a most 
dreadful hurricane. The sea was all on a sudden covered over 
with foam and froth ; the shore was covered with the breach of 
the water; the trees were torn up by the roots; and a terrible 
storm it was; and this held about three hours, and then began 
to abate; and in two hours more it was stark calm, and began 
to rain very hard. 

All this while I sat upon the ground, very much terrified 
and dejected; when on a sudden it came into my thoughts, that 
these winds and rain being the consequences of the earthquake, 
the earthquake itself was spent and over, and I might venture 
into my cave again. With this thought my spirits began to 
revive; and the rain also helping to persuade me, I went in and 
sat down in my tent. But the rain was so violent, that my 
tent was ready to be beaten down with it, and I was forced 



to go into my cave, though veiy much afraid and uneasy, for 
fear it should fall on my head. 

This violent rain forced me to a new work, viz., to cut 
a hole through my new fortification, like a sink to let the water 
go out, which would else have drowned my cave. After I had 
been in my cave some time, and found still no more shocks 
of the earthquake follow, I began to be more composed. And 
now to support my spirits, which indeed wanted it very much, 
I went to my little store, and took a small sup of rum, which, 
however, I did then, and always very sparingly, knowing I 
could have no more when that was gone. 

It continued raining all that night and great part of the 
next day, so that I could not stir abroad; but my mind being 
more composed, I began to think of what I had best do, con- 
cluding that if the island was subject to these earthquakes, 
there would be no living for me in a cave, but I must con- 
sider of building me some little hut in an open place, which 
I might surround with a wall, as I had done here, and so make 
myself secure from wild beasts or men; but concluded, if I 
stayed where I was, I should certainly, one time or other, be 
buried alive. 

With these thoughts I resolved to remove my tent from 
the place where it stood, which was just under the hanging 
precipice of the hill, and which, if it should be shaken again, 
would certainly fall upon my tent; and I spent the two next 
days, being the 19th and 20th of April, in contriving where 
and how to remove my habitation. 

The fear of being swallowed up alive made me that I never 


"All this while I sat upon the ground, very much terrified and dejected 


slept in quiet; and yet the apprehension of lying abroad with- 
out any fence was almost equal to it. But still, when I looked 
about and saw how everything was put in order, how pleasantly 
concealed I was, and how safe from danger, it made me very 
loth to remove. 

In the meantime it occurred to me that it would require 
a vast deal of time for me to do this, and that I must be con- 
tented to run the venture where I was, till I had formed a 
camp for myself, and had secured it so as to remove to it. 
So with this resolution I composed myself for a time, and re- 
solved that I would go to work with all speed to build me a wall 
with piles and cable, etc., in a circle as before, and set my tent 
up in it when it was finished, but that I would venture to stay 
where I was till it was finished, and fit to remove to. This 
was the 21st. 

April 22. — The next morning I began to consider of means 
to put this resolve in execution ; but I was at a great loss about 
my tools. I had three large axes, and abundance of hatchets 
( for we carried the hatchets for traffic with the Indians ) , but 
with much chopping and cutting knotty hard wood, they were 
all full of notches and dull; and though I had a grindstone, I 
could not turn it and grind my tools too. This cost me as much 
thought as a statesman would have bestowed upon a grand 
point of politics, or a judge upon the life and death of a man. 
At length I contrived a wheel with a string, to turn it with my 
foot, that I might have both my hands at liberty. Note, I 
had never seen any such thing in England, or at least not to 
take notice how it was done, though since I have observed it is 



very common there ; besides that, my grindstone was very large 
and heavy. This machine cost me a full week's work to bring 
it to perfection. 

April 28, 29. — These two whole days I took up in grind- 
ing my tools, my machine for turning my grindstone perform- 
ing very well. 

April 30. — Having perceived my bread had been low a 
great while, now I took a survey of it, and reduced myself to 
one biscuit-cake a day, which made my heart very heavy. 



Robinson Obtains More Articles from the Wreck — His Illness and 


MAY 1. — In the morning, looking towards the sea- 
side, the tide being low, I saw something lie on the 
shore bigger than ordinary, and it looked like a cask. 
When I came to it, I found a small barrel, and two or three 
pieces of the wreck of the ship, which were driven on shore by 
the late hurricane; and looking towards the wreck itself, I 
thought it seemed to lie higher out of the water than it used to 
do. I examined the barrel which was driven on shore, and soon 
found it was a barrel of gunpowder; but it had taken water, and 
the powder was caked as hard as stone. However, I rolled it 
farther on shore for the present, and went on upon the sands 
as near as I could to the wreck of the ship to look for more. 
When I came down to the ship I found it strangely re- 
moved. The forecastle, which lay before buried in sand, was 
heaved up at least six feet; and the stern, which was broken 
to pieces, and parted from the rest by the force of the sea soon 
after I had left rummaging her, was tossed, as it were, up, 
and cast on one side, and the sand was thrown so high on that 
side next her stern, that whereas there was a great place of 
water before, so that I could not come within a quarter of a 
mile of the wreck without swimming, I could now walk quite 



up to her when the tide was out. I was surprised with this at 
first, but soon concluded it must be done by the earthquake. 
And as by this violence the ship was more broken open than 
formerly, so many things came daily on shore, which the sea 
had loosened, and which the winds and water rolled by de- 
grees to the land. 

This wholly diverted my thoughts from the design of re- 
moving my habitation ; and I busied myself mightily, that day 
especially, in searching whether I could make any way into 
the ship. But I found nothing was to be expected of that 
kind, for that all the inside of the ship was choked up with 
sand. However, as I had learned not to despair of anything, I 
resolved to pull everything to pieces that I could of the ship, 
concluding, that everything I could get from her would be of 
some use or other to me. 

May 3. — I began with my saw, and cut a piece of a beam 
through, which I thought held some of the upper part or 
quarter-deck together ; and when I had cut it through, I cleared 
away the sand as well as I could from the side which lay high- 
est ; but the tide coming in, I was obliged to give over for that 

May 4. — I went a-fishing, but caught not one fish that I 
durst eat of, till I was weary of my sport; when, just going 
to leave off, I caught a young dolphin. I had made me a long 
line of some rope-yarn, but I had no hooks; yet I frequently 
caught fish enough, as much as I cared to eat; all which I dried 
in the sun, and eat them dry. 

May 5. — Worked on the wreck, cut another beam asunder, 



and brought three great fir-planks off from the decks, which 
I tied together, and made swim on shore, when the tide flood 
came on. 

May 6. — Worked on the wreck, got several iron bolts 
out of her, and other pieces of ironwork; worked very hard, 
and came home very much tired, and had thoughts of giving 
it over. 

May 7. — Went to the wreck again, but with an intent not 
to work, but found the weight of the wreck had broke itself 
down, the beams being cut; that several pieces of the ship 
seemed to lie loose, and the inside of the hold lay so open, that I 
could see into it, but almost full of water and sand. 

May 8. — Went to the wreck, and carried an iron crow to 
wrench up the deck, which lay now quite clear of the water 
and sand. I wrenched open two planks, and brought them 
on shore also with the tide. I left the iron crow in the wreck 
for the next day. 

31 ay 9. — Went to the wreck, and with the crow made way 
into the body of the wreck, and felt several casks, and loosened 
them with the crow, but could not break them up. I felt also 
the roll of English lead, and could stir it, but it was too heavy 
to remove. 

May 10, 11, 12, 13, 14. — Went every day to the wreck, 
and got a great deal of pieces of timber, and boards, or plank, 
and two or three hundredweight of iron. 

31 ay 15. — I carried two hatchets to try if I could not cut 
a piece off of the roll of lead, by placing the edge of one 
hatchet, and driving it with the other ; but as it lay about a foot 



and a half in the water, I could not make any blow to drive 
the hatchet. 

May 16.— -It had blowed hard in the night, and the wreck 
appeared more broken by the force of the water ; but I stayed 
so long in the woods to get pigeons for food, that the tide 
prevented me going to the wreck that day. 

May 17. — I saw some pieces of the wreck blown on shore, 
at a great distance, near two miles off me, but resolved to see 
what they were, and found it was a piece of the head, but too 
heavy for me to bring away. 

May 24. — Every day to this day I worked on the wreck, 
and with hard labor I loosened some things so much with the 
crow, that the first blowing tide several casks floated out, and 
two of the seamen's chests. But the wind blowing from the 
shore, nothing came to land that day but pieces of timber, and 
a hogshead, which had some Brazil pork in it, but the salt 
water and the sand had spoiled it, 

I continued this work every day to the 15th of June, ex- 
cept the time necessary to get food, which I always appointed, 
during this part of my employment, to be when the tide was up, 
that I might be ready when it was ebbed out. And by this 
time I had gotten timber, and plank, and ironwork enough 
to have builded a good boat, if I had known how; and also, I 
got at several times, and in several pieces, near one hundred- 
weight of the sheet lead. 

June 16. — Going down to the seaside, I found a large tor- 
toise, or turtle. This was the first I had seen, which it seems 
was only my misfortune, not any defect of the place, or scar- 



city; for had I happened to be on the other side of the island, 
I might have had hundreds of them every day, as I found after- 
wards ; but, perhaps, had paid dear enough for them. 

June 17 I spent in cooking the turtle. I found in her 
threescore eggs ; and her flesh was to me, at that time, the most 
savory and pleasant that ever I tasted in my life, having had 
no flesh, but of goats and fowls, since I landed in this horrid 

June 18. — Rained all day, and I stayed within. I thought 
at this time the rain felt cold, and I was something chilly, which 
I knew was not usual in that latitude. 

June 19. — Very ill, and shivering, as if the weather had 
been cold. 

June 20. — No rest all night ; violent pains in my head, and 

June 21. — Very ill, frightened almost to death with the 
apprehensions of my sad condition, to be sick, and no help. 
Prayed to God for the first time since the storm off of Hull, 
but scarce knew what I said, or why; my thoughts being all 

June 22. — A little better, but under dreadful apprehensions 
of sickness. 

June 23. — Very bad again; cold and shivering, and then a 
violent headache. 

June 24. — Much better. 

June 25. — An ague very violent; the fit held me seven 
hours ; cold fit, and hot, with faint sweats after it. 

June 26. — Better; and having no victuals to eat, took my 



gun, but found myself very weak. However, I killed a she- 
goat, and with much difficulty got it home, and broiled some 
of it, and ate. I would fain have stewed it and made some 
broth, but had no pot. 

June 27. — The ague again so violent that I lay abed all 
day, and neither ate nor drank. I was ready to perish for 
thirst; but so weak, I had not strength to stand up, or to get 
myself any water to drink. Prayed to God again, but was 
light-headed; and when I was not, I was so ignorant that I 
knew not what to say; only I lay and cried, "Lord, look upon 
me! Lord, pity me! Lord, have mercy upon me!" I sup- 
pose I did nothing else for two or three hours, till the fit wear- 
ing off, I fell asleep, and did not wake till far in the night. 
When I waked, I found myself much refreshed, but weak, and 
exceeding thirsty. However, as I had no water in my whole 
habitation, I was forced to lie till morning, and went to sleep 
again. In this second sleep I had this terrible dream. 

I thought that I was sitting on the ground, on the outside 
of my wall, where I sat when the storm blew after the earth- 
quake, and that I saw a man descend from a great black cloud, 
in a bright flame of fire, and light upon the ground. He 
was all over as bright as a flame, so that I could but just 
bear to look towards him. His countenance was most inex- 
pressibly dreadful, impossible for words to describe. When 
he stepped upon the ground with his feet, I thought the earth 
trembled, just as it had done before in the earthquake, and all 
the air looked, to my apprehension, as if it had been filled with 
flashes of fire. 



He was no sooner landed upon the earth, but he moved 
forward towards me, with a long spear or weapon in his hand, 
to kill me; and when he came to a rising ground, at some dis- 
tance, he spoke to me, or I heard a voice so terrible, that it is 
impossible to express the terror of it. All that I can say I 
understood was this: "Seeing all these things have not 
brought thee to repentance, now thou shalt die;" at which 
words I thought he lifted up the spear that was in his hand to 
kill me. 

No one that shall ever read this account, will expect that I 
should be able to describe the horrors of my soul at this terrible 
vision ; I mean, that even while it was a dream, I even dreamed 
of these horrors; nor is it any more possible to describe the im- 
pression that remained upon my mind when I awaked, and 
found it was but a dream. 

I had, alas! no divine knowledge; what I had received by 
the good instruction of my father was then worn out, by an 
uninterrupted series, for eight years, of seafaring wickedness, 
and a constant conversation with nothing but such as were, like 
myself, wicked and profane to the last degree. I do not re- 
member that I had, in all that time, one thought that so much 
as tended either to looking upwards toward God, or inwards 
toward a reflection upon my ways; but a certain stupidity of 
soul, without desire of good, or conscience of evil, had entirely 
overwhelmed me; and I was all that the most hardened, un- 
thinking, wicked creature among our common sailors can be 
supposed to be; not having the least sense, either of the fear of 
God in danger, or of thankfulness to God in deliverances. 



In the relating what is already past of my story, this will 
be the more easily believed, when I shall add, that through all 
the variety of miseries that had to this day befallen me, I never 
had so much as one thought of it being the hand of God, or 
that it was a just punishment for my sin; my rebellious be- 
havior against my father, or my present sins, which were great; 
or so much as a punishment for the general course of my wicked 
life. When I was on the desperate expedition on the desert 
shores of Africa, I never had so much as one thought of what 
would become of me; or one wish to God to direct me whither 
I should go; or to keep me from the dangers which apparently 
surrounded me, as well from voracious creatures as cruel sav- 
ages. But I was merely thoughtless of a God or a Providence; 
acted like a mere brute from the principles of Nature, and by 
the dictates of common sense only, and indeed hardly that. 

When I was delivered and taken up at sea by the Portu- 
guese captain, well used, and dealt justly and honorably with, 
as well as charitably, I had not the least thankfulness in my 
thoughts. When again I was shipwrecked, ruined, and in 
danger of drowning on this island, I was as far from remorse, 
or looking on it as a judgment; I only said to myself often, 
that I was an unfortunate dog, and born to be always miser- 

It is true, when I got on shore first here, and found all my 
ship's crew drowned, and myself spared, I was surprised with 
a kind of ecstasy, and some transports of soul, which, had the 
grace of God assisted, might have come up to true thankful- 
ness ; but it ended where it begun, in a mere common flight of 



joy, or, as I may say, being glad I was alive, without the least 
reflection upon the distinguishing goodness of the hand which 
had preserved me, and had singled me out to be preserved, 
when all the rest were destroyed ; or an inquiry why Providence 
had been thus merciful to me; even just the same common sort 
of joy which seamen generally have after they are got safe 
ashore from a shipwreck, which they drown all in the next bowl 
of punch, and forget almost as soon as it is over, and all the 
rest of my life was like it. 

Even when I was afterwards, on due consideration, made 
sensible of my condition, how I was cast on this dreadful place, 
out of the reach of human kind, out of all hope of relief, or 
prospect of redemption, as soon as I saw but a prospect of 
living, and that I should not starve and perish for hunger, all 
the sense of my affliction wore off, and I began to be very 
easy, applied myself to the works proper for my preservation 
and supply, and was far enough from being afflicted, at my 
condition, as a judgment from heaven, or, as the hand of God 
against me; these were thoughts which very seldom entered 
into my head. 

The growing up of the corn, as is hinted in my journal, 
had at first some little influence upon me, and began to affect 
me with seriousness, as long as I thought it had something 
miraculous in it; but as soon as ever that part of the thought 
was removed, all the impression which was raised from it wore 
off also, as I have noted already. 

Even the earthquake, though nothing could be more ter- 
rible in its nature, or more immediately directing to the in- 



visible Power, which alone directs such things, yet no sooner 
was the first fright over, but the impression it had made went 
off also. I had no more sense of God or His judgments, much 
less of the present affliction of my circumstances being from 
His hand, than if I had been in the most prosperous condi- 
tion of life. 

But now, when I began to be sick, and a leisurely view of 
the miseries of death came to place itself before me; when 
my spirits began to sink under the burden of a strong dis- 
temper, and Nature was exhausted with the violence of the 
fever; conscience, that had slept so long, began to awake, and 
I began to reproach myself with my past life, in which 1 had 
so evidently, by uncommon wickedness, provoked the justice 
of God to lay me under uncommon strokes, and to deal with 
me in so vindictive a manner. 

These reflections oppressed me for the second or third day 
of my distemper; and in the violence, as well of the fever as 
of the dreadful reproaches of my conscience, extorted some 
words from me, like praying to God, though I cannot say they 
were either a prayer attended with desires or with hopes; it was 
rather the voice of mere fright and distress. My thoughts 
were confused, the convictions great upon my mind, and the 
horror of dying in such a miserable condition, raised vapors 
into my head w r ith the mere apprehensions; and in these hurries 
of my soul, I know not what my tongue might express; but 
it w r as rather exclamation, such as, "Lord! what a miserable 
creature am I! If I should be sick, I shall certainly die for 
want of help; and what will become of me?" Then the tears 



burst out of my eyes, and I could say no more for a good 

In this interval, the good advice of my father came to my 
mind, and presently his prediction, which I mentioned at the 
beginning of this story, viz., that if I did take this foolish step, 
God would not bless me, and I would have leisure hereafter 
to reflect upon having neglected his counsel, when there might 
be none to assist in my recovery. "Now," said I aloud, "my 
dear father's words are come to pass; God's justice has over- 
taken me, and I have none to help or hear me. I rejected the 
voice of Providence, which had mercifully put me in a posture 
or station of life wherein I might have been happy and easy; 
but I would neither see it myself, or learn to know the blessing 
of it from my parents. I left them to mourn over my folly, 
and now I am left to mourn under the consequences of it. I 
refused their help and assistance, who would have lifted me 
into the world, and would have made everything easy to me; 
and now I have difficulties to struggle with, too great for even 
Nature itself to support, and no assistance, no help, no comfort, 
no advice." Then I cried out, "Lord, be my help, for I am in 
great distress." 

This was the first prayer, if I may call it so, that I had 
made for many years. But I return to my journal. 



His Recovery — His Comfort in Reading the Scriptures — He Makes 
an Excursion into the Interior of the Island — Forms His "Bower" 

JUNE 28. — Having been somewhat refreshed with the 
sleep I had had, and the fit being entirely off, I got up; 
and though the fright and terror of my dream was very 
great, yet I considered that the fit of the ague would return 
again the next day, and now was my time to get something 
to refresh and support myself when I should be ill. And the 
first thing I did I filled a large square case-bottle with water, 
and set it upon my table, in reach of my bed; and to take off 
the chill or aguish disposition of the water, I put about a 
quarter of a pint of rum into it, and mixed them together. 
Then I got me a piece of the goat's flesh, and broiled it on 
the coals, but could eat very little. I walked about, but was 
very weak, and withal very sad and heavy-hearted in the sense 
of my miserable condition, dreading the return of my distemper 
the next day. At night I made my supper of three of the 
turtle's eggs, which I roasted in the ashes, and eat, as we call 
it, in the shell; and this was the first bit of meat I had ever 
asked God's blessing to, even as I could remember, in my whole 

After I had eaten, I tried to walk, but found myself so 
weak, that I could hardly carry the gun (for I never went 



out without that) ; so I went but a little way, and sat down 
upon the ground, looking out upon the sea, which was just 
before me, and very calm and smooth. As I sat there, some 
such thoughts as these occurred to me. 

What is this earth and sea, of which I have seen so much? 
whence is it produced? And what am I, and all the other 
creatures, wild and tame, human and brutal, whence are we? 
Sure we are all made by some secret Power, who formed the 
earth and sea, the air and sky. And who is that? 

Then it followed most naturally, It is God that has made 
it all. Well, but then it came on strangely, if God has made 
all these things, He guides and governs them all, and all things 
that concern them; for the Power that could make all things, 
must certainly have power to guide and direct them. 

If so, nothing can happen in the great circuit of His works, 
either without His knowledge or appointment. And if nothing 
happens without His knowledge, He knows that I am here, 
and am in this dreadful condition. And if nothing happens 
without His appointment, He has appointed all this to befall 

Nothing occurred to my thoughts to contradict any of 
these conclusions; and therefore it rested upon me with the 
greater force, that it must needs be that God had appointed 
all this to befall me; that I was brought to this miserable 
circumstance by His direction, He having the sole power, not of 
me only, but of everything that happened in the world. Im- 
mediately it followed, Why has God done this to me? What 
have I done to be thus used? 



My conscience presently checked me in that inquiry, as if 
I had blasphemed, and methought it spoke to me like a voice: 
"Wretch! dost thou ask what thou hast done? Look back 
upon a dreadful misspent life, and ask thyself what thou hast 
not done? Ask, Why is it that thou wert not long ago de- 
stroyed? Why wert thou not drowned in Yarmouth Roads; 
killed in the fight when the ship was taken by the Sallee 
man-of-war; devoured by the wild beasts on the coast of Africa; 
or drowned here, when all the crew perished but thyself ? Dost 
thou ask, What have I done?" 

I was struck dumb with these reflections, as one astonished, 
and had not a word to say, no, not to answer to myself, but 
rose up pensive and sad, walked back to my retreat, and went 
up over my wall, as if I had been going to bed. But my 
thoughts were sadly disturbed, and I had no inclination to 
sleep ; so I sat down in my chair, and lighted my lamp, for it 
began to be dark. Now, as the apprehension of the return of 
my distemper terrified me very much, it occurred to my thought 
that the Brazilians take no physic but their tobacco for almost 
all distempers; and I had a piece of a roll of tobacco in one of 
the chests, which was quite cured, and some also that was green, 
and not quite cured. 

I went, directed by Heaven no doubt; for in this chest I 
found a cure both for soul and body. I opened the chest, and 
found what I looked for, viz., the tobacco ; and as the few books 
I had saved lay there too, I took out one of the Bibles which 
I mentioned before, and which to this time I had not found 
leisure, or so much as inclination, to look into. I say, I took 



it out, and brought both that and the tobacco with me to the 

What use to make of the tobacco I knew not, as to my 
distemper, or whether it was good for it or no; but I tried 
several experiments with it, as if I was resolved it should 
hit one way or other. I first took a piece of a leaf, and chewed 
it in my mouth, which indeed at first almost stupefied my brain, 
the tobacco being green and strong, and that I had not been 
much used to it. Then I took some and steeped it an hour 
or two in some rum, and resolved to take a dose of it when I 
lay down. And lastly, I burnt some upon a pan of coals, and 
held my nose close over the smoke of it, as long as I could bear 
it, as well for the heat, as almost for suffocation. 

In the interval of this operation, I took up the Bible, and 
began to read, but my head was too much disturbed with the 
tobacco to bear reading, at least that time ; only having opened 
the book casually, the first words that occurred to me were 
these, "Call on Me in the day of trouble, and I will deliver, and 
thou shalt glorify Me." 

The words were very apt to my case, and made some impres- 
sion upon my thoughts at the time of reading them, though not 
so much as they did afterwards ; for as for being delivered, the 
word had no sound, as I may say, to me, the thing was so 
remote, so impossible in my apprehension of things, that I be- 
gan to say, as the children of Israel did when they were prom- 
ised flesh to eat, "Can God spread a table in the wilderness?" 
so I began to say, Can God Himself deliver me from this place? 
And as it was not for many years that any hope appeared, this 



prevailed very often upon my thoughts. But, however, the 
words made a great impression upon me, and I mused upon 
them very often. 

It grew now late, and the tobacco had, as I said, dazed 
my head so much, that I inclined to sleep ; so I left my lamp 
burning in the cave, lest I should want anything in the night, 
and went to bed. But before I lay down, I did what I never 
had done in all my life; I kneeled down, and prayed to God 
to fulfil the promise to me, that if I called upon Him in the 
day of trouble, He would deliver me. After my broken and 
imperfect prayer was over, I drank the rum in which I had 
steeped the tobacco; which was so strong and rank of the 
tobacco, that indeed I could scarce get it down. Immediately 
upon this I went to bed. I found presently it flew up in my 
head violently ; but I fell into a sound sleep, and waked no more 
till, by the sun, it must necessarily be near three o'clock in the 
afternoon the next day. Nay, to this hour I am partly of the 
opinion that I slept all the next day and night, and till almost 
three that day after; for otherwise I knew not how I should 
lose a day out of my reckoning in the days of the week, as it ap- 
peared some years after I had done. For if I had lost it by 
crossing and re-crossing the line, I should have lost more than 
one day. But certainly I lost a day in my account, and never 
knew which way. 

Be that, however, one way or the other, when I awaked I 
found myself exceedingly refreshed, and my spirits lively and 
cheerful. When I got up, I was stronger than I was the day 
before, and my stomach better, for I was hungry; and, in 



short, I had no fit the next day, but continued much altered 
for the better. This was the 29th. 

The 30th was my well day, of course, and I went abroad 
with my gun, but did not care to travel too far. I killed a sea- 
fowl or two, something like a brand goose, and brought them 
home, but was not very forward to eat them; so I eat some 
more of the turtle's eggs, which were very good. This eve- 
ning I renewed the medicine, which I had supposed did me 
good the day before, viz., the tobacco steeped in rum; only I 
did not take so much as before, nor did I chew any of the 
leaf, or hold my head over the smoke. However, I was not 
so well the next day, which was the first of July, as I hoped I 
should have been; for I had a little spice of the cold fit, but it 
was not much. 

July 2. — I renewed the medicine all the three ways; and 
dosed myself with it as at first, and doubled the quantity 
which I drank. 

July 3. — I missed the fit for good and all, though I did 
not recover my full strength for some weeks after. While I 
was thus gathering strength, my thoughts ran exceedingly upon 
this Scripture, "I will deliver thee"; and the impossibility of my 
deliverance lay much upon my mind, in bar of my ever ex- 
pecting it. But as I was discouraging myself with such 
thoughts, it occurred to my mind that I pored so much upon my 
deliverance from the main affliction, that I disregarded the 
deliverance I had received ; and I was, as it were, made to ask 
myself such questions as these, viz., Have I not been delivered, 



and wonderfully too, from sickness? from the most distressed 
condition that could be, and that was so frightful to me? and 
what notice had I taken of it? Had I done my part? God 
had delivered me, but I had not glorified Him; that is to say, 
I had not owned and been thankful for that as a deliverance; 
and how could I expect greater deliverance? 

This touched my heart very much; and immediately I 
kneeled down, and gave God thanks aloud for my recovery 
from my sickness. 

July 4. — In the morning I took the Bible; and beginning 
at the New Testament, I began seriously to read it, and im- 
posed upon myself to read awhile every morning and every 
night, not tying myself to the number of chapters, but as long 
as my thoughts should engage me. It was not long after I 
set seriously to this work, but I found my heart more deeply 
and sincerely affected with the wickedness of my past life. 

The impression of my dream revived, and the words, "All 
these things have not brought thee to repentance" ran seri- 
ously in my thought. I was earnestly begging of God to give 
me repentance, when it happened providentially, the very day, 
that, reading the Scripture, I came to these words, "He is 
exalted a Prince and a Savior, to give repentance, and to 
give remission." I threw down the book; and with my heart 
as well as my hands lifted up to heaven, in a kind of ecstasy of 
joy, I cried out aloud, "Jesus, Thou son of David! Jesus, 
Thou exalted Prince and Savior, give me repentance!" 

This was the first time that I could say, in the true sense 
of the words, that I prayed in all my life; for now I prayed 


"In the Morning I took the Bible ; and beginning at the New Testament, 
I began seriously to read it — " 


with a sense of my condition, and with a true Scripture view 
of hope founded on the encouragement of the Word of God; 
and from this time, I may say, I began to have hope that God 
would hear me. 

Now I began to construe the words mentioned above, "Call 
on Me, and I will deliver you," in a different sense from what 
I had ever done before; for then I had no notion of anything 
being called deliverance but my being delivered from the 
captivity I was in; for though I was indeed at large in the 
place, yet the island was certainly a prison to me, and that 
in the worst sense in the world. But now I learned to take 
it in another sense; now I looked back upon my past life with 
such horror, and my sins appeared so dreadful, that my soul 
sought nothing of God but deliverance from the load of guilt 
that bore down all my comfort. As for my solitary life, it 
was nothing; I did not so much as pray to be delivered from 
it or think of it ; it was all of no consideration, in comparison 
to this. And I add this part here, to hint to whoever shall 
read it, that whenever they come to a true sense of things, they 
will find deliverance from sin a much greater blessing than 
deliverance from affliction. 

But leaving this part, I return to my journal. 

My condition began now to be, though not less miserable 
as to my way of living, yet much easier to my mind; and my 
thoughts being directed, by a constant reading the Scripture, 
and praying to God, to things of a higher nature, I had a 
great deal of comfort within, which, till now, I knew nothing 
of. Also, as my health and strength returned, I bestirred my- 



self to furnish myself with everything that I wanted, and make 
my way of living as regular as I could. 

From the 4th of July to the 14th, I was chiefly employed 
in walking about with my gun in my hand, a little and a little 
at a time, as a man that was gathering up his strength after a 
fit of sickness; for it is hardly to be imagined how low I 
was, and to what weakness I was reduced. The application 
which I made use of was perfectly new, and perhaps what had 
never cured an ague before; neither can I recommend it to 
any one to practise, by this experiment; and though it did 
carry off the fit, yet it rather contributed to weakening me; 
for I had frequent convulsions in my nerves and limbs for 
some time. 

I learnt from it also this, in particular, that being abroad 
in the rainy season was the most pernicious thing to my health 
that could be, especially in those rains which came attended 
with storms and hurricanes of wind ; for as the rain which came 
in the dry season was always most accompanied with such 
storms, so I found that rain was much more dangerous than 
the rain which fell in September and October. 

I had been now in this unhappy island above ten months; 
all possibility of deliverance from this condition seemed to be 
entirely taken from me; and I firmly believed that no human 
shape had ever set foot upon that place. Having now secured 
my habitation, as I thought, fully to my mind, I had a great 
desire to make a more perfect discovery of the island, and 
to see what other productions I might find, which I yet knew 
nothing of. 



It was the 15th of July that I began to take a more par- 
ticular survey of the island itself. I went up the creek first, 
where, as I hinted, I brought my rafts on shore. I found, 
after I came about two miles up, that the tide did not flow 
any higher, and that it was no more than a little brook of 
running water, and very fresh and good; but this being the 
dry season, there was hardly any water in some parts of it, at 
least, not enough to run in any stream, so as it could be per- 

On the bank of this brook I found many pleasant savannas 
or meadows, plain, smooth, and covered with grass; and on 
the rising parts of them, next to the higher grounds, where the 
water, as might be supposed, never overflowed, I found a great 
deal of tobacco, green, and growing to a great and very strong 
stalk. There were divers other plants, which I had no notion 
of, or understanding about, and might perhaps have virtues of 
their own, which I could not find out. 

I searched for the cassava root, which the Indians, in all 
that climate, make their bread of, but I could find none. I 
saw large plants of aloes, but did not then understand them. I 
saw several sugar-canes, but wild, and, for want of cultivation, 

I contented myself with these discoveries for this time, 
and came back, musing with myself what course I might 
take to know the virtue and goodness of any of the fruits or 
plants which I should discover; but could bring it to no con- 
clusion; for, in short, I had made so little observation while 
I was in the Brazils, that I knew little of the plants in the field, 



at least very little that might serve me to any purpose now in 
my distress. 

The next day, the 16th, I went up the same way again; 
and after going something farther than I had gone the day 
before, I found the brook and the savannas began to cease, and 
the country became more woody than before. In this part I 
found different fruits, and particularly I found melons upon 
the ground in great abundance, and grapes upon the trees. 
The vines had spread indeed over the trees, and the clusters 
of grapes were just now in their prime, very ripe and rich. 
This was a surprising discovery, and I was exceeding glad of 
them ; but I was warned by my experience to eat sparingly of 
them, remembering that when I was ashore in Barbary eating 
of grapes killed several of our Englishmen, who were slaves 
there, by throwing them into fluxes and fevers. But I found 
an excellent use for these grapes; and that was, to cure or 
dry them in the sun, and keep them as dried grapes or raisins 
are kept, which I thought would be, as indeed they were, as 
wholesome as agreeable to eat, when no grapes might be to 
be had. 

I spent all that evening there, and went not back to my 
habitation; which, by the way, was the first night, as I might 
say, I had lain from home. In the night, I took my first con- 
trivance, and got up into a tree, where I slept well; and the 
next morning proceeded upon my discovery, travelling near 
four miles, as I might judge by the length of the valley, keep- 
ing still due north, with a ridge of hills on the south and north 
side of me. 



At the end of this march I came to an opening, where the 
country seemed to descend to the west ; and a little spring 
of fresh water, which issued out of the side of the hill by me, 
ran the other way, that is, due east ; and the countiy appeared 
so fresh, so green, so flourishing, everything being in a con- 
stant verdure or flourish of spring, that it looked like a planted 

I descended a little on the side of that delicious vale, survey- 
ing it with a secret kind of pleasure, though mixed with my 
other afflicting thoughts, to think that this was all my own; 
that I was king and lord of all this country indefeasibly, and 
had a right of possession; and, if I could convey it, I might 
have it in inheritance as completely as any lord of a manor 
in England. 

I saw here abundance of cocoa trees, orange, and lemon, 
and citron trees; but all wild, and very few bearing fruit, at 
least not then. However, the green limes that I gathered were 
not only pleasant to eat, but verj 7- wholesome; and I mixed 
their juice afterwards with water, which made it very whole- 
some, and very cool and refreshing. 

I found now I had business enough to gather and carry 
home; and I resolved to lay up a store, as well of grapes as 
limes and lemons to furnish myself for the wet season, which 
I knew was approaching. 

In order to do this, I gathered a great heap of grapes in 
one place, and a lesser heap in another place, and a great parcel 
of limes and lemons in another place ; and taking a few of each 
with me, I travelled homeward ; and resolved to come again, and 



bring a bag or sack, or what I could make, to carry the rest 

Accordingly, having spent three days in this journey, I 
came home (so I must now call my tent and my cave) ; but 
before I got thither, the grapes were spoiled; the richness of 
the fruits, and the weight of the juice, having broken them 
and bruised them, they were good for little or nothing: as to 
the limes, they were good, but I could bring but a few. 

The next day, being the 19th, I went back, having made 
me two small bags to bring home my harvest; but I was sur- 
prised, when, coming to my heap of grapes, which were so 
rich and fine when I gathered them, I found them all spread 
about, trod to pieces, and dragged about, some here, some there, 
and abundance eaten and devoured. By this I concluded 
there were some wild creatures thereabouts, which had done 
this ; but what they were, I knew not. 

However, as I found that there was no laying them up 
on heaps, and no carrying them away in a sack, but that one 
way they would be destroyed, and the other way they would 
be crushed with their own weight, I took another course; for 
I gathered a large quantity of the grapes, and hung them up 
upon the out-branches of the trees, that they might cure and 
dry in the sun; and as for the limes and lemons, I carried as 
many back as I could stand under. 

When I came home from this journey, I contemplated with 
great pleasure the fruitfulness of that valley, and the pleasant- 
ness of the situation; the security from storms on that side the 
water and the wood ; and concluded that I had pitched upon a 



place to fix my abode, which was by far the worst part of the 
country. Upon the whole, I began to consider of removing 
my habitation, and to look out for a place equally safe as where 
I now was situate, if possible, in that pleasant fruitful part 
of the island. 

This thought ran long in my head, and I was exceeding 
fond of it for some time, the pleasantness of the place tempting 
me ; but when I came to a nearer view of it and to consider that 
I was now by the seaside, where it was at least possible that 
something might happen to my advantage, and, by the same ill 
fate that brought me hither, might bring some other unhappy 
wretches to the same place ; and though it was scarce probable 
that any such thing should ever happen, yet to enclose myself 
among the hills and woods in the centre of the island, was to an- 
ticipate my bondage, and to render such an affair not only im- 
probable, but impossible; and that therefore I ought not by 
any means to remove. 

However, I was so enamored of this place, that I spent 
much of my time there for the whole remaining part of the 
month of July; and, though, upon second thoughts, I re- 
solved, as above, not to remove, yet I built me a little kind of 
a bower, and surrounded it at a distance with a strong fence, 
being a double hedge as high as I could reach, well staked, 
and filled between with brushwood. And here I lay very 
secure, sometimes two or three nights together, always go- 
ing over it with a ladder, as before ; so that I fancied now I had 
my country house and my seacoast house; and this work took 
me up to the beginning of August. 



I had but newly finished my fence, and began to enjoy 
my labor, but the rains came on, and made me stick close to 
my first habitation; for though I had mac 7 3 me a tent like the 
other, with a piece of a sail, and spread it very well, yet I had 
not the shelter of a hill to keep me from storms, nor a cave 
behind me to retreat into when the rains were extraor- 

About the beginning of August, as I said, I had finished 
my bower, and began to enjoy myself. The 3rd of August, I 
found the grapes I had hung up were perfectly dried, and in- 
deed were excellent good raisins of the sun; so I began to 
take them down from the trees. And it was very happy that 
I did so, for the rains which followed would have spoiled them, 
and I had lost the best part of my winter food ; for I had above 
two hundred large bunches of them. No sooner had I taken 
them all down, and carried most of them home to my cave, but 
it began to rain; and from hence, which was the 14th of 
August, it rained, more or less, every day till the middle of 
October, and sometimes so violently, that I could not stir out 
of my cave for several days. 

In this season, I was much surprised with the increase of 
my family. I had been concerned for the loss of one of my 
cats, who ran away from me, or, as I thought, had been dead, 
and I heard no more tale or tidings of her, till, to my astonish- 
ment, she came home about the end of August with three kit- 
tens. This was the more strange to me, because, though I had 
killed a wild cat, as I called it, with my gun, yet I thought it 
was a quite different kind from our European cats; yet the 



young cats were the same kind of house-breed like the old one ; 
and both my cats being females, I thought it very strange. 
But from these three cats I afterwards came to be so pestered 
with cats, that I was forced to kill them like vermin, or wild 
beasts, and to drive them from my house as much as possible. 

From the 14th of August to the 26th, incessant rain, so that 
I could not stir, and was now very careful not to be much wet. 
In this confinement, I began to be straitened for food; but 
venturing out twice, I one day killed a goat, and the last day, 
which was the 26th, found a very large tortoise, which was a 
treat to me, and my food was regulated thus : I ate a bunch of 
raisins for my breakfast, a piece of the goat's flesh, or of the 
turtle, for my dinner, broiled; for, to my great misfortune, I 
had no vessel to boil or stew anything; and two or three of the 
turtle's eggs for my supper. 

During this confinement in my cover by the rain, I worked 
daily two or three hours at enlarging my cave, and by de- 
grees worked it on towards one side, till I came to the outside 
of the hill, and made a door, or way out, which came beyond my 
fence or wall; and so I came in and out this way. But I was 
not perfectly easy at lying so open; for as I had managed 
myself before, I was in a perfect enclosure; whereas now, I 
thought I lay exposed, and open for anything to come in upon 
me; and yet I could not perceive that there was any living 
thing to fear, the biggest creature that I had yet seen upon 
the island being a goat. 

Sept. 30. — I was now come to the unhappy anniversary 
my landing. I cast up the notches on my post, and found I 



had been on shore three hundred and sixty-five days. I kept 
this day as a solemn fast, setting it apart to religious exercise, 
prostrating myself on the ground with the most serious humilia- 
tion, confessing my sins to God, acknowledging His righteous 
judgments upon me, and praying to Him to have mercy on 
me through Jesus Christ; and having not tasted the least 
refreshment for twelve hours, even till the going down of 
the sun, I then ate a biscuit-cake and a bunch of grapes, and 
went to bed, finishing the day as I began it. 

I had all this time observed no Sabbath day, for as at first 
I had no sense of religion upon my mind, I had, after some 
time, omitted to distinguish the weeks, by making a longer 
notch than ordinary for the Sabbath day, and so did not really 
know what any of the days were. But now, having cast up 
the days, as above, I found I had been there a year, so I 
divided it into weeks, and set apart every seventh day for a 
Sabbath; though I found at the end of my account, I had lost 
a day or two in my reckoning. 

A little after this my ink began to fail me, and so I con- 
tented myself to use it more sparingly, and to write down only 
the most remarkable events of my life, without continuing a 
daily memorandum of other things. 

The rainy season and the dry season began now to appear 
regular to me, and I learned to divide them so as to provide 
for them accordingly; but I bought all my experience before 
I had it, and this I am going to relate was one of the most 
discouraging experiments that I made at all. I have men- 
tioned that I had saved the few ears of barley and rice, which I 



had so surprisingly found spring up, as I thought, of them- 
selves, and believe there were about thirty stalks of rice, and 
about twenty of barley; and now I thought it a proper time 
to sow it after the rains, the sun being in its southern position, 
going from me. 

Accordingly I dug up a piece of ground as well as I could 
with my wooden spade, and dividing it into two parts, I sowed 
my grain; but as I was sowing, it casually occurred to my 
thoughts that I would not sow it all at first, because I did not 
know when was the proper time for it, so I sowed about two- 
thirds of the seed, leaving about a handful of each. 

It was a great comfort to me afterwards that I did so, for 
not one grain of that I sowed this time came to anything, for 
the dry months following, the earth having had no rain after 
the seed was sown, it had no moisture to assist its growth, and 
never came up at all till the wet season had come again, and 
then it grew as if it had been but newly sown. 

Finding my first seed did not grow, which I easily imagined 
was by the drought, I sought for a moister piece of ground 
to make another trial in, and I dug up a piece of ground 
near my new bower, and sowed the rest of my seed in February, 
a little before the vernal equinox. And this having the rainy 
months of March and April to water it, sprung up very pleas- 
antly, and yielded a very good crop; but having part of the 
seed left only, and not daring to sow all that I had, I had but 
a small quantity at last, my whole crop not amounting to above 
half a peck of each kind. But by this experiment I was made 
master of my business, and knew exactly when the proper sea- 



son was to sow, and that I might expect two seed-times and two 
harvests every year. 

While this corn was growing, I made a little discovery, 
which was of use to me afterwards. As soon as the rains were 
over, and the weather began to settle, which was about the 
month of November, I made a visit up the country to my 
bower, where, though I had not been some months, yet I found 
all things just as I left them. The circle or double hedge that 
I had made was not only firm and entire, but the stakes which 
I had cut out of some trees that grew thereabouts were all 
shot out, and grown with long branches, as much as a willow- 
tree usually shoots the first year after lopping its head. I 
could not tell what tree to call it that these stakes were cut 
from. I was surprised, and yet very well pleased to see the 
young trees grow, and I pruned them, and led them up to grow 
as much alike as I could. And it is scarce credible how beau- 
tiful a figure they grew into in three years; so that though the 
hedge made a circle of about twenty-five yards in diameter, yet 
the trees, for such I might now call them, soon covered it, and 
it was a complete shade, sufficient to lodge under all the dry 

This made me resolve to cut some more stakes, and make 
me a hedge like this, in a semicircle round my wall (I mean 
that of my first dwelling), which I did; and placing the trees 
or stakes in a double row, at about eight yards distance from 
my first fence, they grew presently, and were at first a fine 
cover to my habitation, and afterward served for a defence 
also, as I shall observe in its order. 



Robinson Makes a Tour to Explore His Island — Employed in 

Basket Making 

I FOUND now that the seasons of the year might gener- 
ally be divided, not into summer and winter, as in Europe, 
but into the rainy seasons and the dry seasons. The 
rainy season sometimes held longer or shorter as the winds 
happened to blow, but this was the general observation I 
made. After I had found by experience the ill consequence 
of being abroad in the rain, I took care to furnish myself with 
provisions beforehand, that I might not be obliged to go out; 
and I sat within doors as much as possible during the wet 

In this time I found much employment, and very suitable 
also to the time, for I found great occasion of many things 
which I had no way to furnish myself with but by hard labor 
and constant application; particularly, I tried many ways to 
make myself a basket; but all the twigs I could get for the 
purpose proved so brittle, that they would do nothing. It 
proved of excellent advantage to me now, that when I was a 
boy I used to take great delight in standing at a basket-maker's 
in the town where my father lived, to see them make their 
wicker-ware; and being, as boys usually are, very officious to 
help, and a great observer of the manner how they worked 



those things, and sometimes lending a hand, I had by this means 
full knowledge of the methods of it, that I wanted nothing but 
the materials; when it came into my mind that the twigs of 
that tree from whence I cut my stakes that grew might possibly 
be as tough as the sallows, and willows, and osiers in England, 
and I resolved to try. 

Accordingly, the next day, I went to my country house, 
as I called it; and cutting some of the smaller twigs, I found 
them to my purpose as much as I could desire; whereupon I 
came the next time prepared with a hatchet to cut down a 
quantity, which I soon found, for there was plenty of them. 
These I set up to dry within my circle or hedge, and when 
they were fit for use, I carried them to my cave; and here 
during the next season I employed myself in making, as well 
as I could, a great many baskets, both to carry earth, or to lay 
up anything as I had occasion. And though I did not finish 
them very handsomely, yet I made them sufficiently serviceable 
for my purpose. And thus, afterwards, I took care never to 
be without them ; and as my wicker-ware decayed, I made more, 
especially I made strong deep baskets to place my corn in, 
instead of sacks, when I should come to have any quantity 
of it. 

Having mastered this difficulty, and employed a world of 
time about it, I bestirred myself to see, if possible, how to 
supply two wants. I had no vessels to hold anything that was 
liquid, except two runlets, which were almost full of rum, 
and some glass bottles, some of the common size, and others 
which were case-bottles square, for the holding of waters, 



spirits, etc. I had not so much as a pot to boil anything, ex- 
cept a great kettle, which I saved out of the ship, and which 
was too big for such use as I desired it, viz., to make broth, 
and stew a bit of meat by itself. The second thing I would 
fain have had was a tobacco-pipe; but it was impossible for 
me to make one. However, I found a contrivance for that, 
too, at last. 

I employed myself in planting my second rows of stakes 
or piles and in this wicker-working all the summer or dry sea- 
son, when another business took me up more time than it could 
be imagined I could spare. 

I mentioned before that I had a great mind to see the whole 
island, and that I had travelled up the brook, and so on to where 
I built my bower, and where I had an opening quite to the sea, 
on the other side of the island. I now resolved to travel quite 
across to the seashore on that side ; so taking my gun, a hatchet, 
and my dog, and a larger quantity of powder and shot than 
usual, with two biscuit-cakes and a great bunch of raisins in my 
pouch for my store, I began my journey. When I had passed 
the vale where my bower stood, as above, I came within view 
of the sea to the west; and it being a very clear day, I fairly 
descried land, whether an island or a continent I could not tell ; 
but it lay very high, extending from the west to the W.S.W. 
at a very great distance ; by my guess, it could not be less than 
fifteen or twenty leagues off. 

I could not tell what part of the world this might be, other- 
wise than that I knew it must be part of America, and, as I 
concluded, by all my observations, must be near the Spanish 



dominions, and perhaps was all inhabited by savages, where, if 
I should have landed, I had been in a worse condition than I 
was now; and therefore I acquiesced in the dispositions of 
Providence, which I began now to own and to believe ordered 
everything for the best. I say, I quieted my mind with this, 
and left afflicting myself with fruitless wishes of being there. 

Besides, after some pause upon this affair, I considered 
that if this land was the Spanish coast, I should certainly, one 
time or other, see some vessel pass or repass one way or other ; 
but if not, then it was the savage coast between the Spanish 
country and Brazils, which are indeed the worst of savages; 
for they are cannibals or men-eaters, and fail not to murder 
and devour all the human bodies that fall into their hands. 

With these considerations I walked very leisurely forward. 
I found that side of the island, where I now was, much pleas- 
anter than mine, the open or savanna fields sweet, adorned with 
flowers and full of very fine woods. 

I saw abundance of parrots, and fain I would have caught 
one, if possible, to have kept it to be tame, and taught it to 
speak to me. I did, after some painstaking, catch a young 
parrot, for I knocked it down with a stick, and having re- 
covered it, I brought it home; but it was some years before I 
could make him speak. However, at last I taught him to call 
me by my name very familiarly. But the accident that fol- 
lowed, though it be a trifle, will be very diverting in its place. 

I was exceedingly diverted with this journey. I found 
in the low grounds hares, as I thought them to be, and foxes; 
but they differed greatly from all the other kinds I had met 



with, nor could I satisfy myself to eat them, though I killed 
several. But I had no need to be venturous, for I had no 
want of food, and of that which was very good too; especially 
these three sorts, viz., goats, pigeons, and turtle, or tortoise; 
which, added to my grapes, Leadenhall Market could not have 
furnished a table better than I, in proportion to the company. 
And though my case was deplorable enough, yet I had great 
cause for thankfulness, and that I was not driven to any ex- 
tremities for food, but rather plenty, even to dainties. 

I never travelled in this journey above two miles outright 
in a day, or thereabouts ; but I took so many turns and returns, 
to see what discoveries I could make, that I came weary enough 
to the place where I resolved to sit down for all night ; and then 
I either reposed nryself in a tree, or surrounded myself with 
a row of stakes, set upright in the ground, either from one tree 
to another, or so as no wild creature could come at me without 
waking me. 

As soon as I came to the seashore, I was surprised to 
see that I had taken up my lot on the worst side of the island, 
for here indeed the shore was covered with innumerable turtles ; 
whereas, on the other side, I had found but three in a year 
and a half. Here was also an infinite number of fowls of 
many kinds, some which I had seen, and some which I had not 
seen before, and many of them very good meat, but such as I 
knew not the names of except those called penguins. 

I could have shot as many as I pleased, but was very spar- 
ing of my powder and shot, and therefore had more mind to 
kill a she-goat, if I could, which I could better feed on; and 



though there were many goats here, more than on my side the 
island, yet it was with much more difficulty that I could come 
near them, the country being flat and even, and they saw me 
much sooner than when I was on the hill. 

I confess this side of the country was much pleasanter than 
mine; but yet I had not the least inclination to remove, for 
as I was fixed in my habitation, it became natural to me, and 
I seemed all the while I was here to be as it were upon a 
journey, and from home. However, I travelled along the 
shore of the sea towards the east, I suppose about twelve miles, 
and then setting up a great pole upon the shore for a mark, 
I concluded I would go home again; and that the next journey 
I took should be on the other side of the island, east from my 
dwelling, and so round till I came to my post again; of which 
in its place. 

I took another way to come back than that I went, think- 
ing I could easily keep all the island so much in my view, that 
I could not miss finding my first dwelling by viewing the 
country. But I found myself mistaken ; for being come about 
two or three miles, I found myself descended into a very large 
valley, but so surrounded with hills, and those hills covered 
with wood, that I could not see which was my way by any 
direction but that of the sun, nor even then, unless I knew 
very well the position of the sun at that time of the day. 

It happened to my farther misfortune, that the weather 
proved hazy for three or four days while I was in this valley; 
and not being able to see the sun, I wandered about very un- 
comfortably, and at last was obliged to find out the seaside, 



look for my post, and come back the same way I went; and 
then by easy journeys I turned homeward, the weather being 
exceeding hot, and my gun, ammunition, hatchet, and other 
things very heavy. 



He Returns to His Cave — His Agricultural Labors and Success 

IN" this journey my dog surprised a young kid, and seized 
upon it, and I running in to take hold of it, caught it, 
and saved it alive from the dog. I had a great mind to 
bring it home if I could, for I had often been musing whether 
it might not be possible to get a kid or two, and so raise a breed 
of tame goats, which might supply me when my powder and 
shot should be all spent. 

I made a collar to this little creature, and with a string, 
which I made of some rope-yarn, which I always carried about 
me, I led him along, though with some difficulty, till I came 
to my bower, and there I enclosed him and left him, for I was 
very impatient to be at home, from whence I had been absent 
above a month. 

I cannot express what a satisfaction it was to me to come 
into my old hutch, and lie down in my hammock- bed. This 
little wandering journey, without settled place of abode, had 
been so unpleasant to me, that my own house, as I called it to 
myself, was a perfect settlement to be compared to that; and it 
rendered everything about me so comfortable, that I resolved 
I would never go a great way from it again, while it should 
be my lot to stay on the island. 

I reposed myself here a week, to rest and regale myseF 



after my long journey; during which most of the time was 
taken up in the weighty affair of making a cage for my Poll, 
who began now to be a mere domestic, and to be mighty well 
acquainted with me. Then I began to think of the poor kid 
which I had penned in within my little circle, and resolved to 
go and fetch it home, or give it some food. Accordingly I 
went, and found it where I left it, for indeed it could not get 
out, but almost starved for want of food. I went and cut 
boughs of trees, and branches of such shrubs as I could find, 
and threw it over, and having fed it, I tied it as I did before, 
to lead it away; but it was so tame with being hungry, that 
I had no need to have tied it, for it followed me like a dog. 
And as I continually fed it, the creature became so loving, 
so gentle, and so fond, that it became from that time one of 
my domestics also, and would never leave me afterwards. 

The rainy season of the autumnal equinox was now come, 
and I kept the 30th of September in the same solemn manner 
as before, being the anniversary of my landing on the island, 
having now been there two years, and no more prospect of be- 
ing delivered than the first day I came there. I spent the 
whole day in humble and thankful acknowledgments of the 
many wonderful mercies which my solitary condition was at- 
tended with, and without which it might have been infinitely 
more miserable. I gave humble and hearty thanks that God 
had been pleased to discover to me even that it was possible 
I might be more happy in this solitary condition, than I should 
have been in a liberty of society, and in all the pleasures of 
the world; that He could fully make up to me the deficiencies 



of my solitary state, and the want of human society, by His 
presence, and the communications of His grace to my soul, sup- 
porting, comforting, and encouraging me to depend upon His 
providence here, and hope for His eternal presence hereafter. 

It was now that I began sensibly to feel how much more 
happy this life I now led was, with all its miserable circum- 
stances, than the wicked, cursed, abominable life I led all the 
past part of my days. And now I changed both my sorrows 
and my joys; my very desires altered, my affections changed 
their gusts, and my delights were perfectly new from what 
they were at my first coming, or indeed for the two years 

Before, as I walked about, either on my hunting, or for 
viewing the country, the anguish of my soul at my condition 
would break out upon me on a sudden, and my very heart 
would die within me, to think of the woods, the mountains, the 
deserts I was in, and how I was a prisoner, locked up with the 
eternal bars and bolts of the ocean, in an uninhabited wilder- 
ness, without redemption. In the midst of the greatest com- 
posures of my mind, this would break out upon me like a 
storm, and make me wring my hands, and weep like a child. 
Sometimes it would take me in the middle of my work, and 
I would immediately sit down and sigh, and look upon the 
ground for an hour or two together; and this was still worse 
to me, for if I could burst out into tears, or vent myself by 
words, it would go off, and the grief, having exhausted itself, 
would abate. 

But now I began to exercise myself with new thoughts. 



I daily read the Word of God, and applied all the comforts 
of it to my present state. One morning, being very sad, I 
opened the Bible upon these words, "I will never, never leave 
thee, nor forsake thee." Immediately it occurred that these 
words were to me; why else should they be directed in such a 
manner, just at the moment when I was mourning over my 
condition, as one forsaken of God and man? "Well, then," 
said I, "if God does not forsake me, of what ill consequence 
can it be, or what matters it, though the world should all for- 
sake me, seeing on the other hand if I had all the world, and 
should lose the favor and blessing of God, there would be no 
comparison in the loss?" 

From this moment I began to conclude in my mind that 
it was possible for me to be more happy in this forsaken soli- 
tary condition, than it was probable I should ever have been 
in any other particular state in the world, and with this thought 
I was going to give thanks to God for bringing me to this 

I know not what it was, but something shocked my mind 
at that thought, and I durst not speak the words. "How 
canst thou be such a hypocrite," said I, even audibly, "to 
pretend to be thankful for a condition which, however thou 
mayest endeavor to be contented with, thou wouldest rather 
pray heartily to be delivered from?" So I stopped there; but 
though I could not say I thanked God for being there, yet 
I sincerely gave thanks to God for opening my eyes, by what- 
ever afflicting providences, to see the former condition of my 
life, and to mourn for my wickedness, and repent. I never 



opened the Bible, or shut it, but my very soul within me blessed 
God for directing my friend in England, without any order 
of mine, to pack it up among my goods, and for assisting me 
afterwards to save it out of the wreck of the ship. 

Thus, and in this disposition of mind, I began my third 
year; and though I have not given the reader the trouble of 
so particular account of my works this year as the first, yet in 
general it may be observed, that I was very seldom idle, but 
having regularly divided my time, according to the several 
daily employments that were before me, such as, first, my duty 
to God, and the reading the Scriptures, which I constantly 
set apart some time for, thrice every day; secondly, the going 
abroad with my gun for food, which generally took me up three 
hours in every morning, when it did not rain ; thirdly, the order- 
ing, curing, preserving, and cooking what I had killed or 
caught for my supply; these took up a great part of the day; 
also, it is to be considered that the middle of the day, when the 
sun was in the zenith, the violence of the heat was too great to 
stir out; so that about four hours in the evening was all the 
time I could be supposed to work in, with this exception, that 
sometimes I changed my hours of hunting and working, and 
went to work in the morning, and abroad with my gun in the 

To this short time allowed for labor, I desire may be added 
the exceeding laboriousness of my work ; the many hours which, 
for want of tools, want of help, and want of skill, everything 
I did took up out of my time. For example, I was full two 
and forty days making me a board for a long shelf, which I 



wanted in my cave ; whereas two sawyers, with their tools and a 
saw-pit, would have cut six of them out of the same tree in half 
a day. 

My case was this: it was to be a large tree which was to 
be cut down, because my board was to be a broad one. This 
tree I was three days a-cutting down, and two more cutting 
off the boughs, and reducing it to a log, or piece of timber. 
With inexpressible hacking and hewing, I reduced both the 
sides of it into chips till it begun to be light enough to move ; 
then I turned it, and made one side of it smooth and flat as a 
board from end to end ; then turning that side downward, cut 
the other side, till I brought the plank to be about three inches 
thick, and smooth on both sides. Any one may judge the 
labor of my hands in such a piece of work ; but labor and pa- 
tience carried me through that, and many other things. I 
only observe this in particular, to show the reason why so much 
of my time went away with so little work, viz., that what might 
be a little to be done with help and tools was a vast labor and 
required a prodigious time to do alone, and by hand. But not- 
withstanding this, with patience and labor, I went through 
many things, and, indeed, everj^thing that my circumstances 
made necessary to me to do, as will appear by what follows. 

I was now, in the months of November and December, 
expecting my crop of barley and rice. The ground I had 
manured or dug up for them was not great ; for as I observed, 
my seed of each was not above the quantity of half a peck ; for 
I had lost one whole crop by sowing in the dry season. But 
now my crop promised very well, when of a sudden I found 



I was in danger of losing it all again by enemies of several sorts, 
which it was scarce possible to keep from it ; as, first the goats 
and wild creatures which I called hares, who, tasting the sweet- 
ness of the blade, lay in it night and day, as soon as it came up, 
and ate it so close, that it could get no time to shoot up into 

This I saw no remedy for but by making an enclosure 
about it with a hedge, which I did with a great deal of toil, and 
the more, because it required speed. However, as my arable 
land was but small, suited to my crop, I got it totally well 
fenced in about three weeks' time, and shooting some of the 
creatures in the daytime, I set my dog to guard it in the night, 
tying him up to a stake at the gate, where he would stand and 
bark all night long; so in a little time the enemies forsook the 
place, and the corn grew very strong and well, and began to 
ripen apace. 

But as the beasts ruined me before while my corn was in 
the blade, so the birds were as likely to ruin me now when it 
was in the ear; for going along by the place to see how it 
throve, I saw my little crop surrounded with fowls, of I know 
not how many sorts, who stood, as it were, watching till I should 
be gone. I immediately let fly among them, for I always had 
my gun with me. I had no sooner shot, but there rose up a 
little cloud of fowls, which I had not seen at all, from among 
the corn itself. 

This touched me sensibly, for I foresaw that in a few days 
they would devour all my hopes, that I should be starved, 
and never be able to raise a crop at all, and what to do I could 



not tell. However, I resolved not to lose my corn, if possible, 
though I should watch it night and day. In the first place, I 
went among it to see what damage was already done, and found 
they had spoiled a good deal of it; but that as it was yet too 
green for them, the loss was not so great but that the remainder 
was like to be a good crop if it could be saved. 

I stayed by it to load my gun, and then coming away, I 
could easily see the thieves sitting upon all the trees about me, 
as if they only waited till I was gone away. And the event 
proved it to be so ; for as I walked off, as if I was gone, I was 
no sooner out of their sight but they dropped down, one by one, 
into the corn again. I was so provoked, that I could not have 
patience to stay till more came on, knowing that every grain 
that they ate now was, as it might be said, a peck-loaf to me 
in the consequence ; but coming up to the hedge, I fired again, 
and killed three of them. This was what I wished for; so I 
took them up, and served them as we serve notorious thieves in 
England, viz., hanged them in chains, for a terror to others. It 
is impossible to imagine almost that this should have such an 
effect as it had, for the fowls would not only not come at the 
corn, but, in short, they forsook all that part of the island, and 
I could never see a bird near the place as long as my scare- 
crows hung there. 

This I was very glad of, you may be sure; and about the 
latter end of December, which was our second harvest of the 
year, I reaped my crop. 

I was sadly put to it for a scythe or a sickle to cut it down, 
and all I could do was to make one as well as I could out of 



one of the broadswords, or cutlasses, which I saved among 
the arms out of the ship. However, as my first crop was but 
small, I had no great difficulty to cut it down; in short, I 
reaped it my way, for I cut nothing off but the ears, and car- 
ried it away in a great basket which I had made, and so rubbed 
it out with my hands; and at the end of all my harvesting, I 
found that out of my half peck of seed I had near two bushels 
of rice, and above two bushels and a half of barley, that is to 
say, by my guess, for I had no measure at that time. 

However, this was a great encouragement to me, and I 
foresaw that, in time, it would please God to supply me with 
bread. And yet here I was perplexed again, for I neither 
knew how to grind or make meal of my corn, or indeed how to 
clean it and part it ; nor, if made into meal, how to make bread 
of it, and if how to make it, yet I knew not how to bake it. 
These things being added to my desire of having a good 
quantity for store, and to secure a constant supply, I resolved 
not to taste any of this crop, but to preserve it all for seed 
against the next season, and, in the meantime, to employ all 
my study and hours of working to accomplish this great work 
of providing myself with corn and bread. 

It might be truly said, that now I worked for my bread. 
'Tis a little wonderful, and what I believe few people have 
thought much upon, viz., the strange multitude of little things 
necessary in the providing, producing, curing, dressing, mak- 
ing, and finishing this one article of bread. 

I, that was reduced to a mere state of nature, found this 
to my daily discouragement, and was made more and more 


© C. B. C. 

" I reaped it my way, for I cut nothing off but the ears, and carried it away 
in a great basket which I had made " 


sensible of it every hour, even after I had got the first hand- 
ful of seed-corn, which, as I have said, came up unexpectedly, 
and indeed to a surprise. 

First, I had no plough to turn up the earth, no spade or 
shovel to dig it. Well, this I conquered by making a wooden 
spade, as I observed before, but this did my work in but a 
wooden manner; and though it cost me a great many days to 
make it, yet, for want of iron, it not only wore out the sooner, 
but made my work the harder, and made it be performed much 

However, this I bore with, and was content to work it out 
with patience, and bear with the badness of the performance. 
When the corn was sowed, I had no harrow, but was forced to 
go over it myself, and drag a great heavy bough of a tree over 
it, to scratch it, as it may be called, rather than rake or 
harrow it. 

When it was growing and grown, I have observed already 
how many things I wanted to fence it, secure it, mow or reap 
it, cure and carry it home, thrash, part it from the chaff, and 
save it. Then I wanted a mill to grind it, sieves to dress it, 
yeast and salt to make it into bread, and an oven to bake it, 
and yet all these things I did without, as shall be observed; 
and yet the corn was an inestimable comfort and advantage to 
me too. All this, as I said, made everything laborious and 
edious to me, but that there was no help for; neither was my 
Lime so much loss to me, because, as I had divided it, a certain 
part of it was every day appointed to these works, and as I re- 
solved to use none of the corn for bread till I had a greater 



quantity by me, I had the next six months to apply myself 
wholly, by labor and invention, to furnish myself with utensils 
proper for the performing all the operations necessary for 
the making the corn, when I had it, fit for my use. 



His Manufacture of Pottery, and Contrivances for Baking Bread 

BUT first I was to prepare more land, for I had now 
seed enough to sow above an acre of ground. Before 
I did this, I had a week's work at least to make me a 
spade, which, when it was done, was but a sorry one indeed, 
and very heavy, and required double labor to work with it. 
However, I went through that, and sowed my seed in two 
large flat pieces of ground, as near my house as I could find 
them to my mind, and fenced them in with a good hedge, the 
stakes of which were all cut of that wood which I had set be- 
fore, and knew it would grow; so that in one year's time I 
knew I should have a quick or living hedge, that would want 
but little repair. This work was not so little as to take me 
up less than three months, because great part of that time was 
of the wet season, when I could not go abroad. 

Within doors, that is, when it rained, and I could not go 
out, I found employment on the following occasions; always 
observing, that all the while I was at work, I diverted myself 
with talking to my parrot, and teaching him to speak, and I 
quickly taught him to know his own name, and at last to 
speak it out pretty loud, "Poll," which was the first word I 
ever heard spoken in the island by any mouth but my own. 
This, therefore, was not my work, but an assistant to my 



work; for now, as I said, I had a great employment upon my 
hands, as follows, viz., I had long studied, by some means or 
other to make myself some earthern vessels, which indeed I 
wanted sorely, but knew not where to come at them. However, 
considering the heat of the climate, I did not doubt but if I 
could find out any such clay, I might botch up some such pot as 
might, being dried in the sun, be hard enough and strong 
enough to bear handling, and to hold anything that was dry, 
and required to be kept so; and as this was necessary in the 
preparing corn, meal, etc., which was the thing I was upon, I 
resolved to make some as large as I could, and fit only to 
stand jars, to hold what should be put into them. 

It would make the reader pity me, or rather laugh at me, 
to tell how many awkward ways I took to raise this paste ; what 
odd, misshapen, ugly things I made ; how many of them fell in, 
and how many fell out, the clay not being stiff enough to bear 
its own weight ; how many cracked by the over-violent heat of 
the sun, being set out too hastily ; and how many fell in pieces 
with only removing, as well before as after they were dried; 
and, in a word, how, after having labored hard to find the 
clay, to dig it, to temper it, to bring it home, and work it, I 
could not make above two large earthen ugly things ( I cannot 
call them jars) in about two months' labor. 

However, as the sun baked these two very dry and hard, I 
lifted them very gently up, and set them down again in two 
great wicker baskets, which I had made on purpose for them, 
that they might not break; and as between the pot and the 
basket there was a little room to spare, I stuffed it full of the 



rice and barley straw, and these two pots being to stand al- 
ways dry, I thought would hold my dry corn, and perhaps the 
meal, when the corn was bruised. 

Though I miscarried so much in my design for large pots, 
yet I made several smaller things with better success; such 
as little round pots, flat dishes, pitchers, and pipkins, and any 
things my hand turned to ; and the heat of the sun baked them 
strangely hard. But all this would not aswer my end, which 
was to get an earthen pot to hold what was liquid, and bear the 
fire, which none of these could do. It happened after some 
time, making a pretty large fire for cooking my meat, when 
I went to put it out after I had done with it, I found a broken 
piece of one of my earthenware vessels in the fire, burnt as hard 
as a stone, and red as a tile. I was agreeably surprised to 
see it, and said to myself, that certainly they might be made 
to burn whole, if they would burn broken. 

This set me to studying how to order my fire, so as to make 
it burn me some pots. I had no notion of a kiln, such as the 
potters burn in, or of glazing them with lead, though I had 
some lead to do it with ; but I placed three large pipkins, and 
two or three pots in a pile, one upon another, and placed my 
firewood all around it, with a great heap of embers under them. 
I plied the fire with fresh fuel round the outside, and upon the 
top, till I saw the pots in the inside red-hot quite through, and 
observed that they did not crack at all. When I saw them clear 
red, I let them stand in that heart about five or six hours, 
till I found one of them, though it did not crack, did melt or 
run, for the sand which was mixed with the clay melted by the 



violence of the heat, and would have run into glass, if I had gone 
on ; so I slacked my fire gradually till the pots began to abate 
of the red color ; and watching them all night, that I might not 
let the fire abate too fast, in the morning I had three very 
good, I will not say handsome, pipkins, and two other earthen 
pots, as hard burnt as could be desired, and one of them per- 
fectly glazed with the running of the sand. 

After this experiment, I need not say that I wanted no sort 
of earthenware for my use; but I must needs say, as to the 
shapes of them, they were very indifferent, as any one may 
suppose, when I had no way of making them but as the chil- 
dren make dirt pies, or as a woman would make pies that never 
learned to raise paste. 

~No joy at a thing of so mean a nature was ever equal to 
mine, when I found I had made an earthen pot that would 
bear fire ; and I had hardly patience to stay till they were cold, 
before I set one on the fire again, with some water in it, to 
boil me some meat, which it did admirably well; and with a 
piece of a kid I made some very good broth, though I wanted 
oatmeal and several other ingredients requisite to make it so 
good as I would have had it been. 

My next concern was to get me a stone mortar to stamp or 
beat some corn in; for as to the mill, there was no thought 
of arriving to that perfection of art with one pair of hands. 
To supply this want I was at a great loss ; for, of all trades in 
the world, I was as perfectly unqualified for a stone-cutter 
as for any whatever; neither had I any tools to go about it 
with. I spent many a day to find out a great stone big 



enough to cut hollow, and make it fit for a mortar, and could 
find none at all, except what was in the solid rock, and which 
I had no way to dig or cut out; nor indeed were the rocks in 
the island of hardness sufficient, but were all of a sandy crum- 
bling stone, which neither would bear the weight of a heavy 
pestle or would break the corn without filling it with sand. So, 
after a great deal of time lost in searching for a stone, I gave 
it over, and resolved to look about for a great block of hard 
wood, which I found indeed much easier; and getting one as 
big as I had strength to stir, I rounded it, and formed it in 
the outside with my axe and hatchet, and then, with the help 
of fire, and infinite labor, made a hollow place in it, as the 
Indians in Brazil make their canoes. After this, I made a 
great heavy pestle or beater, of the wood called the iron-wood ; 
and this I prepared and laid by against I had my next crop 
of corn, when I proposed to myself to grind, or rather pound, 
my corn into meal, to make my bread. 

My next difficulty was to make a sieve, or search, to dress 
my meal, and to part it from the bran and the husk, without 
which I did not see it possible I could have any bread. This 
was a most difficult thing, so much as but to think on, for to 
be sure I had nothing like the necessary thing to make it; I 
mean fine thin canvas or stuff, to search the meal through. 

And here I was at a full stop for many months, nor did I 
really know what to do; linen I had none left, but what was 
mere rags ; I had goat's hair, but neither knew I how to weave 
it nor spin it ; and. had I known how, there were no tools to work 
it with. All the remedy I found for this was, that at last I did 



remember I had, among the seamen's clothes which were saved 
out of the ship, some neckcloths of calico or muslin; and with 
some pieces of these I made three small sieves, but proper 
enough for the work; and thus I made shift for some years. 
How I did afterwards, I shall show in its place. 

The baking part was the next thing to be considered, and 
how I should make bread when I came to have corn; for, first, 
I had no yeast. As to that part, as there was no supplying 
the want, so I did not concern myself much about it; but for 
an oven I was indeed in great pain. At length I found out an 
experiment for that also, which was this : I made some earthen 
vessels very broad, but not deep, that is to say, about two feet 
diameter, and not above nine inches deep ; these I burned in the 
fire, as I had done the other, and laid them by; and when I 
wanted to bake, I made a great fire upon my hearth, which I 
had paved with some square tiles, of my own making and 
burning also ; but I should not call them square. 

When the firewood was burned pretty much into embers, 
or live coals, I drew them forward upon this hearth, so as to 
cover it all over, and there I let them lie till the hearth was 
very hot; then sweeping away all the embers, I set down my 
loaf, or loaves, and whelming down the earthen pot upon 
them, drew the embers all round the outside of the pot, to 
keep in and add to the heat. And thus, as well as in the best 
oven in the world, I baked my barley-loaves, and became, in 
little time, a mere pastry-cook into the bargain; for I made 
myself several cakes of the rice, and puddings ; indeed I made 



no pies, neither had I anything to put into them, supposing I 
had, except flesh either of fowls or goats. 

It need not be wondered at, if all these things took me up 
most part of the third year of my abode here; for it is to be 
observed, that in the intervals of these things I had my new 
harvest and husbandry to manage ; for I reaped my corn in its 
season, and carried it home as well as I could, and laid it up 
in the ear, in my large baskets, till I had time to rub it out, for 
I had no floor to thrash it on, or instrument to thrash it with. 

And now, indeed, my stock of corn increasing, I really 
wanted to build my barns bigger. I wanted a place to lay it 
up in, for the increase of the corn now yielded me so much, 
that I had of the barley about twenty bushels, and of the rice 
as much, or more, insomuch that now I resolved to begin to 
use it freely ; for my bread had been quite gone a great while ; 
also, I resolved to see what quantity would be sufficient for me 
a whole year, and to sow but once a year. 

Upon the whole, I found that the forty bushels of barley 
and rice was much more than I could consume in a year; so I 
resolved to sow just the same quantity every year that I sowed 
the last, in hopes that such a quantity would fully provide me 
with bread, etc. 



Meditates His Escape from the Island — Builds a Canoe — Failure of 

His Scheme and Resignation to His Condition — 

He Makes Himself a New Dress 

ALL the while these things were doing, you may be sure 
my thoughts ran many times upon the prospect of 
land which I had seen from the other side of the 
island, and I was not without secret wishes that I were on 
shore there, fancying the seeing the mainland, and in an inhab- 
ited country, I might find some way or other to convey myself 
farther, and perhaps at last find some means of escape. 

But all this while I made no allowance for the dangers of 
such a condition, and how I might fall into the hands of sav- 
ages, and perhaps such as I might have reason to think far 
worse than the lions and tigers of Africa; that if I once came 
into their power, I should run a hazard more than a thousand 
to one of being killed, and perhaps of being eaten; for I had 
heard that the people of the Caribbean coasts were cannibals, 
or man-eaters, and I knew by the latitude that I could not be 
far off from that shore. Suppose they were not cannibals, yet 
that they might kill me, as many Europeans who had fallen 
into their hands had been served, even when they had been 
ten or twenty together, much more I, that was but one, and 
could make little or no defence; all these things, I say, which 



I ought to have considered well of, and did cast up in my 
thoughts afterwards, yet took up none of my apprehensions 
at first, but my head ran mightily upon the thought of getting 
over to the shore. 

Now I wished for my boy Xury, and the long-boat with 
the shoulder-of -mutton sail, with which I sailed above a thou- 
sand miles on the coast of Africa ; but this was in vain. Then 
I thought I would go and look at our ship's boat, which, as I 
have said, was blown up upon the shore a great way, in the 
storm, when we were first cast away. She lay almost where she 
did at first, but not quite ; and was turned, by the force of the 
waves and the winds, almost bottom upward, against a high 
ridge of beachy rough sand, but no water about her, as before. 

If I had had hands to have refitted her, and to have 
launched her into the water, the boat would have done well 
enough, and I might have gone back into the Brazils with her 
easily enough ; but I might have foreseen that I could no more 
turn her and set her upright upon her bottom, than I could 
remove the island. However, I went to the woods, and cut 
levers and rollers, and brought them to the boat, resolved to 
try what I could do; suggesting to myself that if I could but 
turn her down, I might easily repair the damage she had re- 
ceived, and she would be a very good boat, and I might go to 
sea in her very easily. 

I spared no pains, indeed, in this piece of fruitless toil, and 
spent, I think, three or four weeks about it. At last finding it 
impossible to heave it up with my little strength, I fell to dig- 
ging away the sand, to undermine it, and so to make it fall 



down, setting pieces of wood to thrust and guide it right in the 
fall. But when I had done this, I was unable to stir it up 
again, or to get under it, much less to move it forward towards 
the water ; so I was forced to give it over. And yet, though I 
gave over the hopes of the boat, my desire to venture over for 
the main increased, rather than decreased, as the means for it 
seemed impossible. 

This at length put me upon thinking whether it was not 
possible to make myself a canoe, or periagua, such as the na- 
tives of those climates make, even without tools, or, as I might 
say, without hands, viz., of the trunk of a great tree. This I 
not only thought possible, but easy, and pleased myself ex- 
tremely with the thoughts of making it, and with my having 
much more convenience for it than any of the negroes or In- 
dians ; but not at all considering the particular inconveniences 
which I lay under more than the Indians did, viz., want of 
hands to move it, when it was made, into the water, a difficulty 
much harder for me to surmount than all the consequences of 
want of tools could be to them. For what was it to me, that 
when I had chosen a vast tree in the woods, I might with much 
trouble cut it down, if, after I might be able with my tools to 
hew and dub the outside into the proper shape of a boat, and 
burn or cut out the inside to make it hollow, so to make a boat 
of it; if, after all this, I must leave it just there where I found 
it, and was not able to launch it into the water? 

One would have thought I could not have had the least 
reflection upon my mind of my circumstance while I was 
making this boat, but I should have immediately thought how I 



should get it into the sea; but my thoughts were so intent 
upon my voyage over the sea in it, that I never once considered 
how I should get it off of the land; and it was really, in its own 
nature, more easy for me to guide it over forty-five miles of sea, 
than about forty-five fathoms of land, where it lay, to set it 
afloat in the water. 

I went to work upon this boat the most like a fool that ever 
man did who had any of his senses awake. I pleased myself 
with the design, without determining whether I was ever able 
to undertake it. Not but that the difficulty of launching my 
boat came often into my head; but I put a stop to my own 
inquiries into it, by this foolish answer which I gave myself, 
"Let's first make it! I'll warrant I'll find some way or other 
to get it along when 'tis done." 

This was a most preposterous method ; but the eagerness of 
my fancy prevailed, and to work I went. I felled a cedar tree : 
I question much whether Solomon ever had such a one for the 
building of the Temple of Jerusalem. It was five feet ten 
inches diameter at the lower part next the stump, and four feet 
eleven inches diameter at the end of twenty-two feet, after 
which it lessened for awhile, and then parted into branches. It 
was not without infinite labor that I felled this tree. I was 
twenty days hacking and hewing at it at the bottom; I was 
fourteen more getting the branches and limbs, and the vast 
spreading head of it cut off, which I hacked and hewed through 
with axe and hatchet, and inexpressible labor. After this, it 
cost me a month to shape it and dub it to a proportion, and to 
something like the bottom of a boat, that it might swim upright 



as it ought to do. It cost me near three months more to clear 
the inside, and work it so as to make an exact boat of it. This 
I did, indeed, without fire, by mere mallet and chisel, and by 
the dint of hard labor, till I had brought it to be a very hand- 
some periagua and big enough to have carried six and twenty 
men, and consequently big enough to have carried me and all 
my cargo. 

When I had gone through this work, I was extremely de- 
lighted with it. The boat was really much bigger than I ever 
saw a canoe or periagua , that was made of one tree, in my life. 
Many a weary stroke it had cost, you may be sure; and there 
remained nothing but to get it into the water ; and had I gotten 
it into the water, I made no question but I should have begun 
the maddest voyage, and the most unlikely to be performed, 
that ever was undertaken. 

But all my devices to get it into the water failed me, though 
thejr cost me infinite labor too. It lay about one hundred yards 
from the water, and not more ; but the first inconvenience was, 
it was uphill towards the creek. Well, to take away this dis- 
couragement, I resolved to dig into the surface of the earth, 
and so make a declivity. This I began, and it cost me a pro- 
digious deal of pains; but who grudges pains, that have their 
deliverance in view? But when this was worked through, and 
this difficulty managed, it was still much at one, for I could no 
more stir the canoe than I could the other boat. 

Then I measured the distance of ground, and resolved to 
cut a dock or canal, to bring the water up to the canoe, seeing 
I could not bring the canoe down to the water. Well, I began 



this work ; and when I began to enter into it, and calculate how 
deep it was to be dug, how broad, how the stuff to be thrown 
out, I found that by the number of hands I had, being none but 
my own, it must have been ten or twelve years before I should 
have gone through with it; for the shore lay high, so that at 
the upper end it must have been at least twenty feet deep ; so 
at length, though with great reluctancy, I gave this attempt 
over also. 

This grieved me heartily; and now I saw, though too late, 
the folly of beginning a work before we count the cost, and 
before we judge rightly of our own strength to go through 
with it. 

In the middle of this work I finished my fourth year in this 
place, and kept my anniversary with the same devotion, and 
with as much comfort as ever before; for, by a constant study 
and serious application of the Word of God, and by the assist- 
ance of His grace, I gained a different knowledge from what 
I had before. I entertained different notions of things. I 
looked now upon the world as a thing remote, which I had noth- 
ing to do with, no expectation from, and, indeed, no desires 
about. In a word, I had nothing indeed to do with it, nor was 
ever like to have; so I thought it looked, as we may perhaps 
look upon it hereafter, viz., as a place I had lived in, but was 
come out of it; and well might I say, as father Abraham to 
Dives, "Between me and thee is a great gulf fixed." 

In the first place, I was removed from all the wickedness 
of the world here. I had neither the lust of the flesh, the lust 
of the eye, or the pride of life. I had nothing to covet, for I 

. [169] 


had all that I was now capable of enjoying. I was lord of the 
whole manor ; or, if I pleased, I might call myself king or em- 
peror over the whole country which I had possession of. There 
were no rivals : I had no competitor, none to dispute sovereignty 
or command with me. I might have raised ship-loadings of 
corn, but I had no use for it ; so I let as little grow as I thought 
enough for my occasion. I had tortoise or turtles enough, but 
now and then one was as much as I could put to any use. I 
had timber enough to have built a fleet of ships. I had grapes 
enough to have made wine, or to have cured into raisins, to 
have loaded that fleet when they had been built. 

But all I could make use of was all that was valuable. I 
had enough to eat and to supply my wants, and what was all 
the rest to me? If I killed more flesh than I could eat, the 
dog must eat it, or the vermin. If I sowed more corn than I 
could eat, it must be spoiled. The trees that I cut down were 
lying to rot on the ground ; I could make no more use of them 
than for fuel, and that I had no occasion for but to dress my 

In a word, the nature and experience of things dictated to 
me, upon just reflection, that all the good things of this world 
are no farther good to us than the}' are for our use; and that 
whatever we may heap up indeed to give others, we enjoy just 
as much as we can use, and no more. The most covetous, 
gripping miser in the world would have been cured of the vice 
of covetousness, if he had been in my case ; for I possessed infi- 
nitely more than I knew what to do with. I had no room for 
desire, except it was of things which I had not, and they were 



but trifles, though indeed of great use to me. I had, as I 
hinted before, a parcel of money, as well gold as silver, about 
thirty-six pounds sterling. Alas! there the nasty, sorry, use- 
less stuff lay ; I had no manner of business for it ; and I often 
thought with myself, that I would have given a handful of it 
for a gross of tobacco-pipes, or for a hand-mill to grind my 
corn ; nay, I would have given it all for six-pennyworth of tur- 
nip and carrot seed out of England, or for a handful of peas 
and beans, and a bottle of ink. As it was, I had not the least 
advantage by it, or benefit from it ; but there it lay in a drawer, 
and grew moldy with the damp of the cave in the wet season; 
and if I had had the drawer full of diamonds, it had been the 
same case, and they had been of no manner of value to me 
because of no use. 

I had now brought my state of life to be much easier in 
itself than it was at first, and much easier to nry mind, as well 
as to my body. I frequently sat down to my meat with thank- 
fulness, and admired the hand of God's providence, which had 
thus spread my table in the wilderness. I learned to look more 
upon the bright side of my condition, and less upon the dark 
side, and to consider what I enjoyed, rather than what I 
wanted; and this gave me sometimes such secret comforts, that 
I cannot express them ; and which I take notice of here, to put 
those discontented people in mind of it, who cannot enjoy 
comfortably what God has given them, because they see and 
covet something that He has not given them. All our discon- 
tents about what we want, appeared to me to spring from the 
want of thankfulness for what we have. 



Another reflection was of great use to me, and doubtless 
would be so to any one that should fall into such distress as 
mine was ; and this was, to compare my present condition with 
what I at first expected it should be ; nay, with what it would 
certainly have been, if the good providence of God had not 
wonderfully ordered the ship to be cast up nearer to the shore, 
where I not only could come at her, but could bring what I got 
out of her to the shore, for my relief and comfort; without 
which I had wanted for tools to work, weapons for defence, or 
gun-powder and shot for getting my food. 

I spent whole hours, I may say whole days, in representing 
to myself, in the most lively colors, how I must have acted if I 
had got nothing out of the ship. How I could not have so 
much as got any food, except fish and turtles; and that as it 
was long before I found any of them, I must have perished 
first ; that I should have lived, if I had not perished, like a mere 
savage ; that if I had killed a goat or a fowl, by any contrivance, 
I had no way to flay or open them, or part the flesh from the 
skin and the bowels, or to cut it up ; but must gnaw it with my 
teeth, and pull it with my claws, like a beast. 

These reflections made me very sensible of the goodness of 
Providence to me, and very thankful for my present condition, 
with all its hardships and misfortunes; and this part also I 
cannot but recommend to the reflection of those who are apt, 
in their misery, to say, Is any affliction like mine? Let them 
consider how much worse the cases of some people are, and 
their case might have been, if Providence had thought fit. 

I had another reflection, which assisted me also to comfort 



my mind with hopes ; and this was, comparing my present con- 
dition with what I had deserved, and had therefore reason to 
expect from the hand of Providence. I had lived a dreadful 
life, perfectly destitute of the knowledge and fear of God. I 
had been well instructed by father and mother ; neither had they 
been wanting to me in their early endeavors to infuse a religious 
awe of God into my mind, a sense of my duty, and of what the 
nature and end of my being required of me. But alas ! falling 
early into the seafaring life, which, of all the lives, is the most 
destitute of the fear of God, though His terrors are always 
before them; I say, falling early into the seafaring life, and 
into seafaring company, all that little sense of religion which I 
had entertained was laughed out of me by my messmates; by 
a hardened despising of dangers, and the views of death, which 
grew habitual to me; by my long absence from all manner of 
opportunities to converse with anything but what was like my- 
self, or to hear anything that was good, or tended towards it. 
So void was I of everything that was good, or of the least 
sense of what I was, or was to be, that in the greatest deliver- 
ances I enjoyed, such as my escape from Sallee; my being 
taken up by the Portuguese master of the ship; my being 
planted so well in the Brazils; my receiving the cargo from 
England, and the like; I never had once the words, "Thank 
God," as much as on my mind, or in my mouth; nor in the 
greatest distress had I so much as a thought to pray to Him, 
or so much as to say, "Lord, have mercy upon me!" no, nor to 
mention the name of God, unless it was to swear by and blas- 
pheme it. 



I had terrible reflections upon my mind for many months, 
as I have already observed, on the account of my wicked and 
hardened life past; and when I looked about me, and consid- 
ered what particular providences had attended me since my 
coming into this place, and how God had dealt bountifully with 
me, had not only punished me less than my iniquity had de- 
served, but had so plentifully provided for me; this gave me 
great hopes that my repentance was accepted, and that God 
had yet mercy in store for me. 

With these reflections, I worked my mind up, not only to 
resignation to the will of God in the present disposition of my 
circumstances, but even to a sincere thankfulness for my condi- 
tion; and that I, who was yet a living man, ought not to com- 
plain, seeing I had not the due punishment of my sins ; that I 
enjoyed so many mercies, which I had no reason to have ex- 
pected in that place ; that I ought never more to repine at my 
condition, but to rejoice, and to give daily thanks for that daily 
bread, which nothing but a crowd of wonders could have 
brought; that I ought to consider I had been fed even by 
miracle, even as great as that of feeding Elijah by ravens; nay, 
by a long series of miracles; and that I could hardly have 
named a place in the unhabitable part of the world where I 
could have been cast more to my advantage ; a place where, as 
I had no society, which was my affliction on one hand, so I 
found no ravenous beasts, no furious wolves or tigers, to 
threaten my life ; no venomous creatures or poisonous, which I 
might feed on to my hurt; no savages to murder and devour me. 

In a word, as my life was a life of sorrow one way, so it 



was a life of mercy another ; and I wanted nothing to make it 
a life of comfort, but to be able to make my sense of God's 
goodness to me, and care over me in this condition, be my daily 
consolation; and after I did make a just improvement of these 
things, I went away, and was no more sad. 

I had now been here so long, that many things which I 
brought on shore for my help were either quite gone, or very 
much wasted, and near spent. My ink, as I observed, had been 
gone for some time, all but a very little, which I eked out with 
water, a little and a little, till it was so pale it scarce left any 
appearance of black upon the paper. As long as it lasted, I 
made use of it to minute down the days of the month on which 
any remarkable thing happened to me. And, first, by casting 
up times past, I remember that there was a strange concur- 
rence of days in the various providences which befell me, and 
which, if I had been superstitiously inclined to observe days as 
fatal or fortunate, I might have had reason to have looked upon 
with a great deal of curiosity. 

First, I had observed that the same day that I broke away 
from my father and my friends, and run away to Hull, in order 
to go to sea, the same day afterwards I was taken by the Sallee 
man-of-war, and made a slave. 

The same day of the year that I escaped out of the wreck 
of that ship in Yarmouth Roads, that same day-year after- 
wards I made my escape from Sallee in the boat. 

The same day of the year I was born on, viz., the 30th of 
September, that same day I had my life so miraculously saved 
twenty-six years after, when I was cast on shore in this island; 



so that my wicked life and my solitary life began both on a 

The next thing to my ink's being wasted, was that of my 
bread; I mean the biscuit, which I brought out of the ship. 
This I had husbanded to the last degree, allowing myself but 
one cake of bread a day for above a year ; and yet I was quite 
without bread for near a year before I got any corn of my 
own ; and great reason I had to be thankful that I had any at 
all, the getting it being, as has been already observed, next to 

My clothes began to decay, too, mightily. As to linen, I 
had none a good while, except some checkered shirts which I 
found in the chests of the other seamen, and which I carefully 
preserved, because many times I could bear no other clothes on 
but a shirt; and it was a very great help to me that I had, 
among all the men's clothes of the ship, almost three dozen of 
shirts. There were also several thick watch-coats of the sea- 
men's which were left indeed, but they were too hot to wear; 
and though it is true that the weather was so violent hot that 
there was no need of clothes, yet I could not go quite naked, 
no, though I had been inclined to it, which I was not, nor could 
abide the thoughts of it, though I was all alone. 

The reason why I could not go quite naked was, I could 
not bear the heat of the sun so well when quite naked as with 
some clothes on; nay, the very heat frequently blistered my 
skin; whereas, with a shirt on, the air itself made some motion, 
and whistling under that shirt, was twofold cooler than without 
it. No more could I ever bring myself to go out in the heat of 



the sun without a cap or hat. The heat of the sun beating with 
such violence, as it does in that place, would give me the head- 
ache presently, by darting so directly on my head, without a 
cap or hat on, so that I could not bear it ; whereas, if I put on 
my hat, it would presently go away. 

Upon those views, I began to consider about putting the 
few rags I had, which I called clothes, into some order. I had 
worn out all the waistcoats I had, and my business was now to 
try if I could not make jackets out of the great watch-coats 
which I had by me, and with such other materials as I had ; so I 
set to work a-tailoring, or rather, indeed, a-botching, for I made 
most piteous work of it. However, I made shift to make me 
two or three new waistcoats, which I hoped would serve me a 
great while. As for breeches or drawers, I made but a very 
sorry shift indeed till afterward. 

I have mentioned that I saved the skins of all the creatures 
that I killed, I mean four-footed ones, and I had hung them 
up stretched out with sticks in the sun, by which means some 
of them were so dry and hard that they were fit for little, but 
others it seems were very useful. The first thing I made of 
these was a great cap for my head, with the hair on the outside, 
to shoot off the rain; and this I performed so well, that after 
this I made me a suit of clothes wholly of these skins, that is to 
say, a waistcoat, and breeches open at knees, and both loose, 
for they were rather wanting to keep me cool than to keep me 
warm. I must not omit to acknowledge that they were wretch- 
edly made; for if I was a bad carpenter, I was a worse tailor. 
However, they were such as I made very good shift with; and 



when I was abroad, if it happened to rain, the hair of my waist- 
coat and cap being outermost, I was kept very dry. 

After this I spent a great deal of time and pains to make 
me an umbrella. I was indeed in great want of one, and had a 
great mind to make one. I had seen them made in the Brazils, 
where they are very useful in the great heats which are there ; 
and I felt the heats every jot as great here, and greater too, 
being nearer the equinox. Besides, as I was obliged to be 
much abroad, it was a most useful thing to me, as well for the 
rains as the heats. I took a world of pains at it, and was a 
great while before I could make anything likely to hold ; nay, 
after I thought I had hit the way, I spoiled two or three before 
I made one to my mind ; but at last I made one that answered 
indifferently well. The main difficulty I found was to make it 
to let down. I could make it to spread; but if it did not let 
down too, and draw in, it was not portable for me any way but 
just over my head, which would not do. However, at last, as 
I said, I made one to answer, and covered it with skins, the 
hair upwards, so that it cast off the rains like a pent-house, and 
kept off the sun so effectually, that I would walk out in the 
hottest of the weather with greater advantage than I could 
before in the coolest ; and when I had no need of it, could close 
it, and carry it under my arm. 

Thus I lived mighty comfortably, my mind being entirely 
composed by resigning to the will of God, and throwing myself 
wholly upon the disposal of His providence. This made my 
life better than sociable ; for when I began to regret the want of 
conversation, I would ask myself whether thus conversing mu- 



tually with my own thoughts and, as I hope I may say, with 
even God Himself, by ejaculations, was not better than the 
utmost enjoyment of human society in the world? 



He Makes a Smaller Canoe in which He Attempts to Cruise Round the 
Island — His Perilous Situation at Sea — He Returns Home 

I CAN NOT say that after this, for five years, any extraor- 
dinary thing happened to me ; but I lived on in the same 
course, in the same posture and place, just as before. 
The chief things I was employed in, besides my yearly labor 
of planting my barley and rice, and curing my raisins, of both 
which I always kept up just enough to have sufficient stock of 
one year's provisions beforehand — and my daily labor of going 
out with my gun, I had one labor, to make me a canoe, which 
at last I finished; so that by digging a canal to it of six feet 
wide, and four feet deep, I brought it into the creek, almost 
half a mile. As for the first, which was so vastly big, as I made 
it without considering beforehand, as I ought to do, how I 
should be able to launch it; so, never being able to bring it to 
the water, or bring the water to it, I was obliged to let it lie 
where it was, as a memorandum to teach me to be wiser next 
time. Indeed, the next time, though I could not get a tree 
proper for it, and in a place where I could not get the water to 
it at any less distance than, as I have said, near half a mile, yet 
as I saw it was practicable at last, I never gave it over; and 
though I was near two years about it, yet I never grudged my 
labor, in hopes of having a boat to go off to sea at last. 



However, though my little periagua was finished, yet the 
size of it was not at all answerable to the design which I had in 
view when I made the first; I mean, of venturing over to the 
terra firma, where it was above forty miles broad. Accord- 
ingly, the smallness of my boat assisted to put an end to that 
design, and now I thought no more of it. But as I had a boat, 
my next design was to make a tour round the island; for as I 
had been on the other side in one place, crossing, as I have 
already described it, over the land, so the discoveries I made in 
that little journey made me very eager to see other parts of the 
coast ; and now I had a boat, I thought of nothing but sailing 
round the island. 

For this purpose, that I might do everything with discretion 
and consideration, I fitted up a little mast to my boat, and made 
a sail to it out of some of the piece of the ship's sail, which lay 
in store, and of which I had a great stock by me. 

Having fitted my mast and sail, and tried the boat, I found 
she would sail very well. Then I made little lockers, or boxes, 
at either end of my boat, to put provisions, necessaries, and 
ammunition, etc., into, to be kept dry, either from rain or the 
spray of the sea; and a little long hollow place I cut in the 
inside of the boat, where I could lay my gun, making a flap to 
hang down over it to keep it dry. 

I fixed my umbrella also in a step at the stern, like a mast, 
to stand over my head, and keep the heat of the sun off of me, 
like an awning; and thus I every now and then took a little 
voj^age upon the sea, but never went far out, nor far from the 
little creek. But at last, being eager to view the circumfer- 



ence of my little kingdom, I resolved upon my tour; and ac- 
cordingly I victualled my ship for the voyage, putting in two 
dozen of my loaves (cakes I should rather call them) of barley 
bread, an earthen pot full of parched rice, a food I ate a great 
deal of, a little bottle of rum, half a goat, and powder and shot 
for killing more, and two large watch-coats, of those which, as 
I mentioned before, I had saved out of the seamen's chests; 
these I took, one to lie upon, and the other to cover me in the 

It was the 6th of November, in the sixth year of my reign, 
or my captivity, which you please, that I set out on this voyage, 
and I found it much longer than I expected; for though the 
island itself was not very large, yet when I came to the east side 
of it I found a great ledge of rocks lie out about two leagues 
into the sea, some above water, some under it, and beyond that 
a shoal of sand, lying dry half a league more; so that I was 
obliged to go a great way out to sea to double the point. 

When first I discovered them, I was going to give over my 
enterprise, and come back again, not knowing how far it might 
oblige me to go out to sea, and, above all, doubting how I 
should get back again, so I came to an anchor ; for I had made 
me a kind of anchor with a piece of a broken grappling which 
I got out of the ship. 

Having secured my boat, J took my gun and went on shore, 
climbing up upon a hill, which seemed to overlook that point, 
where I saw the full extent of it, and resolved to venture. 

In my viewing the sea from that hill, where I stood, I per- 
ceived a strong, and indeed a most furious current, which ran 


© C. B. C. 

" — and thus I every now and then took a little voyage upon the sea 


to the east, and even came close to the point; and I took the 
more notice of it, because I saw there might be some danger 
that when I came into it I might be carried out to sea by the 
strength of it, and not be able to make the island again. And 
indeed, had I not gotten first up upon this hill, I believe it 
would have been so ; for there was the same current on the other 
side of the island, only that it set off at a farther distance ; and 
I saw there was a strong eddy under the shore ; so I had nothing 
to do but to get in out of the first current, and I should pres- 
ently be in an eddy. 

I lay here, however, two days; because the wind, blowing 
pretty fresh at E.S.E., and that being just contrary to the said 
current, made a great breach of the sea upon the point ; so that 
it was not safe for me to keep too close to the shore for the 
breach, nor to go too far off because of the stream. 

The third day, in the morning, the wind having abated over- 
night, the sea was calm, and I ventured. But I am a warning- 
piece again to all rash and ignorant pilots; for no sooner was 
I come to the point, when even I was not my boat's length from 
the shore, but I found myself in a great depth of water, and a 
current like the sluice of a mill. It carried my boat along with 
it with such violence, that all I could do could not keep her so 
much as on the edge of it, but I found it hurried me farther and 
farther out from the eddy, which was on my left hand. There 
was no wind stirring to help me, and all I could do with my 
paddlers signified nothing. And now I began to give myself 
over for lost ; for, as the current was on both sides the island, I 
knew in a few leagues' distance they must join again, and then 



I was irrevocably gone. Nor did I see any possibility of avoid- 
ing it ; so that I had no prospect before me but of perishing ; not 
by the sea, for that was calm enough, but of starving for 
hunger. I had indeed found a tortoise on the shore, as big al- 
most as I could lift, and had tossed it into the boat ; and I had a 
great jar of fresh water, that is to say, one of my earthen pots; 
but what was all this to being driven into the vast ocean, where, 
to be sure, there was no shore, no mainland or island, for a 
thousand leagues at least. 

And now I saw how easy it was for the providence of God 
to make the most miserable condition mankind could be in 
worse. Now I looked back upon my desolate solitary island 
as the most pleasant place in the world, and all the happiness 
my heart could wish for was to be but there again. I stretched 
out my hands to it, with eager wishes. "O happy desert!" said 
I, "I shall never see thee more. O miserable creature," said I, 
"whither am I going?" Then I reproached myself with my 
unthankful temper, and how I had repined at my solitary con- 
dition ; and now what would I give to be on shore there again. 
Thus we never see the true state of our condition till it is illus- 
trated to us by its contraries; nor know how to value what we 
enjoy, but by the want of it. It is scarce possible to imagine 
the consternation I was now in, being driven from my beloved 
island (for so it appeared to me now to be) into the wide ocean, 
almost two leagues, and in the utmost despair of ever recover- 
ing it again. However, I worked hard, till indeed my strength 
was almost exhausted, and kept my boat as much to the north- 



ward, that is, towards the side of the current which the eddy 
lay on, as possibly I could; when about noon, as the sun passed 
the meridian, I thought I felt a little breeze of wind in my face, 
springing up from the S.S.E. This cheered my heart a little, 
and especially when, in about half an hour more, it blew a pretty 
small gentle gale. By this time I was gotten at a frightful 
distance from the island; and had the least cloud or hazy 
weather intervened, I had been undone another way too ; for I 
had no compass on board, and should never have known how to 
have steered towards the island if I had but once lost sight of it. 
But the weather continuing clear, I applied myself to get up 
my mast again, and spread my sail, standing away to the north 
as much as possible, to get out of the current. 

Just as I had set my mast and sail, and the boat began to 
stretch away, I saw even by the clearness of the water some 
alteration of the current was near; for where the current was 
so strong, the water was foul. But perceiving the water clear, 
I found the current abate, and presently I found to the east, 
at about half a mile, a breach of the sea upon some rocks. 
These rocks I found caused the current to part again; and as 
the main stress of it ran away more southerly, leaving the rocks 
to the north-east, so the other returned by the repulse of the 
rocks, and made a strong eddy, which ran back again to the 
north-west with a very sharp stream. 

They who know what it is to have a reprieve brought to 
them upon the ladder, or to be rescued from thieves just going 
to murder them, or who have been in such like extremities, may 



guess what my present surprise of joy was, and how gladly I 
put my boat into the stream of this eddy; and the wind also 
freshening, how gladly I spread my sail to it, running cheer- 
fully before the wind, and with a strong tide or eddy under 

This eddy carried me about a league in my way back again, 
directly towards the island, but about two leagues more to the 
northward than the current which carried me, awajr at first ; so 
that when I came near the island, I found myself open to the 
northern shore of it, that is to say, the outer end of the island, 
opposite to that which I went out from. 

When I had made something more than a league of way by 
the help of this current or eddy, I found it was spent, and 
served me no farther. However, I found that being between 
the two great currents, viz., that on the south side, which had 
hurried me away, and that on the north, which lay about a 
league on the other side ; I say, between these two, in the wake 
of the island, I found the water at least still, and running no 
way; and having still a breeze of wind fair for me, I kept on 
steering directly for the island, though not making such fresh 
way as I did before. 

About four o'clock in the evening, being then within about 
a league of the island, I found the point of the rocks which occa- 
sioned this disaster stretching out, as is described before, to the 
southward, and casting off the current more southwardly had, 
of course, made another eddy to the north, and this I found very 
strong, but not directly setting the way my course lay, which 
was due west, but almost full north. However, having a fresh 



gale, I stretched across this eddy, slanting north-west; and in 
about an hour came within about a mile of the shore, where, it 
being smooth water, I soon got to land. 

When I was on shore, I fell on my knees, and gave God 
thanks for my deliverance, resolving to lay aside all thoughts 
of my deliverance by my boat ; and refreshing myself with such 
things as I had, I brought my boat close to the shore, in a little 
cove that I had spied under some trees, and laid me down to 
sleep, being quite spent with the labor and fatigue of the 

I was now at a great loss which way to get home with my 
boat. I had run so much hazard, and knew too much the case, 
to think of attempting it by the way I went out; and what 
might be at the other side (I mean the west side) I knew not, 
nor had I any mind to run any more ventures. So I only re- 
solved in the morning to make my way westward along the 
shore, and to see if there was no creek where I might lay up my 
frigate in safety, so as to have her again if I wanted her. In 
about three miles, or thereabouts, coasting the shore, I came to 
a very good inlet or bay, about a mile over, which narrowed till 
it came to a very little rivulet or brook, where I found a very 
convenient harbor for my boat, and where she lay as if she had 
been in a little dock made on purpose for her. Here I put in, 
and having stowed my boat very safe, I went on shore to look 
about me, and see where I was. 

I soon found I had but a little passed by the place where I 
had been before, when I travelled on foot to that shore; so 
taking nothing out of my boat but my gun and my umbrella, 



for it was exceedingly hot, I began my march. The way was 
comfortable enough after such a voyage as I had been upon, 
and I reached my old bower in the evening, where I found 
everything standing as I left it; for I always kept it in good 
order, being, as I said before, my country house. 

I got over the fence, and laid me down in the shade to rest 
my limbs, for I was very weary, and feel asleep. Rut judge 
you, if you can, that read my story, what a surprise I must be 
in, when I was waked out of my sleep by a voice calling me by 
my name several times, "Robin, Robin, Robin Crusoe, poor 
Robin Crusoe! Where are you, Robin Crusoe? Where are 
you? Where have you been?" 

I was so dead asleep at first, being fatigued with rowing, or 
paddling, as it is called, the first part of the day, and with walk- 
ing the latter part, that I did not wake thoroughly ; but dozing 
between sleeping and waking, thought I dreamed that some- 
body spoke to me. But as the voice continued to repeat "Robin 
Crusoe, Robin Crusoe," at last I began to wake more perfectly, 
and was at first dreadfully frightened, and started up in the 
utmost consternation. But no sooner were my eyes open, but 
I saw my Poll sitting on the top of the hedge, and immediately 
knew that it was he that spoke to me; for just in such bemoan- 
ing language I had used to talk to him, and teach him ; and he 
had learned it so perfectly, that he would sit upon my finger, 
and lay his bill close to my face, and cry, "Poor Robin Crusoe! 
Where are you? Where have you been? How come you 
here?" and such things as I had taught him. 

However, even though I knew it was the parrot, and that 



indeed it could be nobody else, it was a good while before I 
could compose myself. First, I was amazed how the creature 
got thither, and then, how he should just keep about the place, 
and nowhere else. But as I was well satisfied it could be no- 
body but honest Poll, I got it over ; and holding out my hand, 
and calling him by his name, Poll, the sociable creature, came 
to me, and sat upon my thumb, as he used to do, and continued 
talking to me, "Poor Robin Crusoe! and how did I come here? 
and where had I been?" just as if he had been overjoyed to see 
me again ; and so I carried him home along with me. 

I had now had enough of rambling to sea for some time, and 
had enough to do for many days to sit still, and reflect upon 
the danger I had been in. I would have been very glad to have 
had my boat again on my side of the island; but I knew not 
how it was practicable to get it about. As to the east side of 
the island, which I had gone round, I knew well enough there 
was no venturing that way; my very heart would shrink, and 
my very blood run chill, but to think of it. And as to the other 
side of the island, I did not know how it might be there; but 
supposing the current ran with the same force against the shore 
at the east as it passed by it on the other, I might run the same 
risk of being driven down the stream, and carried by the island, 
as I had been before of being carried away from it. So, with 
these thoughts, I contented myself to be without any boat, 
though it had been the product of so many months' labor to 
make it and of so many more to get it unto the sea. 

In this government of my temper I remained near a year, 
lived a very sedate, retired life, as you may well suppose ; and 



my thoughts being very much composed as to my condition, 
and fully comforted in resigning myself to the dispositions of 
Providence, I thought I lived really very happily in all things, 
except that of society. 

I improved myself in this time in all the mechanic exercises 
which my necessities put me upon applying myself to, and I 
believe could, upon occasion, make a very good carpenter, espe- 
cially considering how few tools I had. Besides this, I arrived 
at an unexpected perfection in my earthenware, and contrived 
well enough to make them with a wheel, which I found infi- 
nitely easier and better, because I made things round and shap- 
able which before were filthy things indeed to look on. But I 
think I was never more vain of my own performance, or more 
joyful for anything found out, than for my being able to make 
a tobacco-pipe. And though it was a very ugly, clumsy thing 
when it was done, and only burnt red, like other earthenware, 
yet as it was hard and firm, and would draw the smoke, I was 
exceeding!}" comforted with it; for I had been always used to 
smoke, and there were pipes in the ship, but I forgot them at 
first, not knowing that there was tobacco in the island; and 
afterwards, when I searched the ship again, I could not come 
at any pipes at all. 

In my wicker-ware also I improved much, and made abun- 
dance of necessary baskets, as well as my invention showed me ; 
though not very handsome, yet they were such as were very 
handy and convenient for my laying things up in, or fetching 
things home in. For example, if I killed a goat abroad, I 
could hang it up in a tree, flay it, and dress it, and cut it in 



pieces, and bring it home in a basket ; and the like by a turtle ; 
I could cut it up, take out the eggs, and a piece or two of the 
flesh, which was enough for me, and bring them home in a 
basket, and leave the rest behind me. Also large deep baskets 
were my receivers for my corn, which I always rubbed out as 
soon as it was dry, and cured, and kept it in great baskets. 

I began now to perceive my powder abated considerably, 
and this was a want which it was impossible for me to supply, 
and I began seriously to consider what I must do when I should 
have no more powder; that is to say, how I should do to kill 
any goats. I had, as is observed, in the third year of my being 
here kept a young kid, and bred her up tame, and I was in hope 
of getting a he-goat. But I could not by any means bring it 
to pass, till my kid grew an old goat ; and I could never find in 
my heart to kill her, till she died at last of mere age. 



He Rears a Flock of Goats — His Diary — His Domestic Habits and 
Style of Living — Increasing Prosperity 

BUT being now in the eleventh year of my residence, and 
as I have said, my ammunition growing low, I set my- 
self to study some art to trap and snare the goats, to see 
whether I could not catch some of them alive ; and particularly, 
I wanted a she-goat great with young. 

To this purpose, I made snares to hamper them, and I do 
believe they were more than once taken in them ; but my tackle 
was not good, for I had no wire, and I always found them 
broken, and my bait devoured. At length I resolved to try a 
pitfall ; so I dug several large pits in the earth, in places where 
I had observed the goats used to feed, and over these pits I 
placed hurdles, of my own making too, with a great weight 
upon them ; and several times I put ears of barley and dry rice, 
without setting the trap, and T could easily perceive that the 
goats had gone in and eaten up the corn, for I could see the 
mark of their feet. At length I set three traps in one night, 
and going the next morning, I found them all standing, and 
yet the bait eaten and gone ; this was very discouraging. How- 
ever, I altered my trap ; and, not to trouble you with particu- 
lars, going one morning to see my trap, I found in one of them 
a large old he-goat, and in one of the others three kids, a male 
and two females. 



As to the old one, I knew not what to do with him, he was 
so fierce I durst not go into the pit to him; that is to say, to go 
about to bring him away alive, which was what I wanted. I 
could have killed him, but that was not my business, nor would 
it answer my end ; so I even let him out, and he ran away, as if 
he had been frightened out of his wits. But I had forgotten 
then what I learned afterwards, that hunger will tame a lion. 
If I had let him stay there three or four days without food, and 
then have carried him some water to drink, and then a little 
corn, he would have been as tame as one of the kids, for they 
are mighty sagacious, tractable creatures where they are well 

However, for the present I let him go, knowing no better 
at that time. Then I went to the three kids, and taking them 
one by one, I tied them with strings together, and with some 
difficulty brought them all home. 

It was a good while before they would feed, but throwing 
them some sweet corn, it tempted them, and they began to be 
tame. And now I found that if I expected to supply myself 
with goat-flesh when I had no powder or shot left, breeding 
some up tame was nry only way, when perhaps I might have 
them about my house like a flock of sheep. 

But then it presently occurred to me that I must keep the 
tame from the wild, or else they would always run wild when 
they grew up ; and the only way for this was to have some en- 
closed piece of ground, well fenced either with hedge or pale, to 
keep them in so effectually, that those within might not break 
out, or those without break in. 



This was a great undertaking for one pair of hands ; yet as 
I saw there was an absolute necessity of doing it, my first piece 
of work was to find out a proper piece of ground, viz., where 
there was likely to be herbage for them to eat, water for them 
to drink, and cover to keep them from the sun. 

Those who understand such enclosures will think I had very 
little contrivance when I pitched upon a place very proper for 
all these, being a plain open piece of meadow land, or savanna 
(as our people call it in the western colonies), which had two 
or three little drills of fresh water in it, and at one end was 
very woody ; I say, they will smile at my forecast, when I shall 
tell them I began my enclosing of this piece of ground in such 
a manner, that my hedge or pale must have been at least two 
miles about. Nor was the madness of it so great as to the com- 
pass, for if it was ten miles about, I was like to have time 
enough to do it in. But I did not consider that my goats would 
be as wild in so much compass as if they had had the whole 
island, and I should have so much room to chase them in, that 
I should never catch them. 

My hedge was begun and carried on, I believe, about fifty 
yards, when this thought occurred to me, so I presently stopped 
short, and, for the first beginning, I resolved to enclose a piece 
of about 150 yards in length, and 100 yards in breadth; which, 
as it would maintain as many as I should have in any reasonable 
time, so, as my flock increased, I could add more ground to my 

This was acting with some prudence, and I went to work 
with courage. I was about three months hedging in the first 



piece, and, till I had done it, I tethered the three kids in the 
best part of it, and used them to feed as near me as possible, to 
make them familiar ; and very often I would go and carry them 
some ears of barley, or a handful of rice, and feed them out of 
my hand; so that after my enclosure was finished, and I let 
them loose, they would follow me up and down, bleating after 
me for a handful of corn. 

This answered my end, and in about a year and half I had a 
flock of about twelve goats, kids and all ; and in two years more 
I had three and forty, besides several that I took and killed for 
my food. And after that I enclosed five several pieces of 
ground to feed them in, with little pens to drive them into, to 
take them as I wanted, and gates out of one piece of ground 
into another. 

But this was not all, for now I not only had goat's flesh to 
feed on when I pleased, but milk too, a thing which, indeed, in 
my beginning, I did not so much as think of, and which, when 
it came into my thoughts, was really an agreeable surprise. 
For now I set up my dairy, and had sometimes a gallon or two 
of milk in a day ; and as Nature, who gives supplies of food to 
every creature, dictates even naturally how to make use of it, so 
I, that had never milked a cow, much less a goat, or seen butter 
or cheese made, very readily and handily, though after a great 
many essays and miscarriages, made me both butter and cheese 
at last, and never wanted it afterwards. 

How mercifully can our great Creator treat His creatures, 
even in those conditions in which they seemed to be overwhelmed 
in destruction! How can He sweeten the bitterest provi- 



dences, and give us cause to praise Him for dungeons and 
prisons ! What a table was here spread for me in a wilderness, 
where I saw nothing at first but to perish for hunger ! 

It would have made a stoic smile, to have seen me and my 
little family sit down to dinner. There was my majesty, the 
prince and lord of the whole island; I had the lives of all my 
subjects at my absolute command. I could hang, draw, give 
liberty, and take it away; and no rebels among all my subjects. 

Then to see how like a king I dined, too, all alone, attended 
by my servants. Poll, as if he had been my favorite, was the 
only person permitted to talk to me. My dog, who was now 
grown very old and crazy, and had found no species to multiply 
his kind upon, sat always at my right hand, and two cats, one 
on one side the table, and one on the other, expecting now and 
then a bit from my hand, as a mark of special favor. 

But these were not the two cats which I brought on shore 
at first, for they were both of them dead, and had been interred 
near my habitation, by my own hand. But one of them having 
multiplied by I know not what kind of creature, these were 
two which I had preserved tame, whereas the rest ran wild in 
the woods, and became indeed troublesome to me at last; for 
they would often come into my house, and plunder me too, till 
at last I was obliged to shoot them, and did kill a great many ; 
at length they left me. With this attendance, and in this plen- 
tiful manner, I lived ; neither could I be said to want anything 
but society; and of that in some time after this, I was like to 
have too much. 

I was something impatient, as I have observed, to have the 



use of my boat, though very loth to run any more hazards ; and 
therefore sometimes I sat contriving ways to get her about the 
island, and at other times I sat myself down contented enough 
without her. But I had a strange uneasiness in my mind to go 
down to the point of the island, where, as I have said, in my last 
ramble, I went up the hill to see how the shore lay, and how the 
current set, that I might see what I had to do. This inclination 
increased upon me every day, and at length I resolved to travel 
thither by land, following the edge of the shore. I did so ; but 
had any one in England been to meet such a man as I was, it 
must either have frightened them, or raised a great deal of 
laughter; and as I frequently stood still to look at myself, I 
could not but smile at the notion of my travelling through 
Yorkshire, with such an equipage, and in such a dress. Be 
pleased to take a sketch of my figure, as follows : 

I had a great high shapeless cap, made of a goat's skin, with 
a flap hanging down behind, as well to keep the sun from me, 
as to shoot the rain off from running into my neck; nothing 
being so hurtful in these climates as the rain upon the flesh, 
under the clothes. 

I had a short jacket of goat's skin, the skirts coming down 
to about the middle of my thighs; and a pair of open-kneed 
breeches of the same. The breeches were made of the skin of 
an old he-goat, whose hair hung down such a length on either 
side, that, like pantaloons, it reached to the middle of my legs. 
Stockings and shoes I had none, but had made me a pair of 
somethings, I scarce know what to call them, like buskins, to 
flap over my legs, and lace on either side like spatterdashes; 



but of a most barbarous shape, as indeed were all the rest of 
my clothes. 

I had on a broad belt of goat's skin dried, which I drew 
together with two thongs of the same, instead of buckles ; and 
in a kind of a frog on either side of this, instead of a sword and 
a dagger, hung a little saw and a hatchet, one on one side, one 
on the other. I had another belt, not so broad, and fastened in 
the same manner, which hung over my shoulder ; and at the end 
of it, under my left arm, hung two pouches, both made of goat's 
skin too ; in one of which hung my powder, in the other my shot. 
At my back I carried my basket, on my shoulder my gun, and 
over my head a great clumsy ugly goat-skin umbrella, but 
which, after all, was the most necessary thing I had about me, 
next to my gun. As for my face, the color of it was really not 
so mulatto-like as one might expect from a man not at all care- 
ful of it, and living within nineteen degrees of the equinox. 
My beard I had once suffered to grow till it was about a quarter 
of a yard long; but as I had both scissors and razors sufficient, 
I had cut it pretty short, except what grew on my upper lip, 
which I had trimmed into a large pair of Mahometan whiskers, 
such as I had seen worn by some Turks whom I saw at Sallee; 
for the Moors did not wear such, though the Turks did. Of 
these mustachios or whiskers, I will not say they were long 
enough to hang my hat upon them, but they were of a length 
and shape monstrous enough, and such as, in England, would 
have passed for frightful. 

But all this is by the bye; for, as to my figure, I had so few 
to observe me, that it was of no manner of consequence; so I 



say no more to that part. In this kind of figure I went my new 
journey, and was out five or six days. I travelled first along 
the sea-shore, directly to the place where I first brought my 
boat to an anchor, to get up upon the rocks. And having no 
boat now to take care of, I went over the land, a nearer way, 
to the same height that I was upon before; when, looking for- 
ward to the point of the rocks which lay out, and which I was 
obliged to double with my boat, as is said above, I was surprised 
to see the sea all smooth and quiet, no rippling, no motion, no 
current, any more there than in other places. 

I was at a strange loss to understand this, and resolved to 
spend some time in the observing it, to see if nothing from the 
sets of the tide had occasioned it. But I was presently con- 
vinced how it was, viz., that the tide of ebb setting from the 
west, and joining with the current of waters from some great 
river on the shore, must be the occasion of this current ; and that 
according as the wind blew more forcibly from the west, or 
from the north, this current came near, or went farther from 
the shore; for waiting thereabouts till evening, I went up to 
the rock again, and then the tide of ebb being made, I plainly 
saw the current again as before, only that it ran farther off, 
being near half a league from the shore ; whereas in my case it 
set close upon the shore, and hurried me and my canoe along 
with it, which, at another time, it would not have done. 

This observation convinced me that I had nothing to do but 
to observe the ebbing and the flowing of the tide, and I might 
very easily bring my boat about the island again. But when 
I began to think of putting it in practice, I had such a terror 



upon my spirits at the remembrance of the danger I had been 
in, that I could not think of it again with any patience ; but, on 
the contrary, I took up another resolution, which was more safe, 
though more laborious; and this was, that I would build, or 
rather make me another periagua or canoe ; and so have one for 
one side of the island, and one for the other. 

You are to understand that now I had, as I may call it, two 
plantations in the island; one, my little fortification or tent, 
with the wall about it, under the rock, with the cave behind me, 
which, by this time, I had enlarged into several apartments or 
caves, one within another. One of these, which was the driest 
and largest, and had a door out beyond my wall or fortification, 
that is to say, beyond where my wall joined to the rock, was all 
filled up with the large earthen pots, of which I have given an 
account, and with fourteen or fifteen great baskets, which would 
hold five or six bushels each, where I laid up my stores of pro- 
vision, especially my corn, some in the ear, cut off short from 
the straw, and the other rubbed out with my hand. 

As for my wall, made, as before, with long stakes or piles, 
those piles grew all like trees, and were by this time grown so 
big, and spread so very much, that there was not the least ap- 
pearance, to any one's view, of any habitation behind them. 

Near this dwelling of mine, but a little farther within the 
land, and upon lower ground, lay my two pieces of corn 
ground, which I kept duly cultivated and sowed, and which 
duly yielded me their harvest in its season ; and whenever I had 
occasion for more corn, I had more land adjoining as fit as that. 

Besides this, I had my country seat, and I had now a toler- 



able plantation there also ; for, first, I had my little bower, as I 
called it, which I kept in repair ; that is to say, I kept the hedge 
which circled it in constantly fitted up to its usual height, the 
ladder standing always in the inside. I kept the trees, which at 
first were no more than my stakes, but were now grown very 
firm and tall, I kept them always so cut, that they might spread 
and grow thick and wild, and make the more agreeable shade, 
which they did effectually to my mind. In the middle of this, 
I had my tent always standing, being a piece of a sail, spread 
over poles, set up for that purpose, and which never wanted 
any repair or renewing ; and under this I had made me a squab 
or couch, with the skins of the creatures I had killed, and with 
other soft things, and a blanket laid on them, such as belonged 
to our sea-bedding, which I had saved, and a great watch-coat 
to cover me; and here, whenever I had occasion to be absent 
from my chief seat, I took up my country habitation. 

Adjoining to this I had my enclosures for my cattle, that is 
to say, my goats. And as I had taken an inconceivable deal of 
pains to fence and enclose this ground, so I was so uneasy to 
see it kept entire, lest the goats should break through, that I 
never left off till, with infinite labor, I had stuck the outside of 
the hedge so full of small stakes, and so near to one another, 
that it was rather a pale than a hedge, and there was scarce 
room to put a hand through between them; which afterwards, 
when those stakes grew, as they all did in the next rainy season, 
made the enclosure strong like a wall, indeed, stronger than 
any wall. 

This will testify for me that I was not idle, and that I 



spared no pains to bring to pass whatever appeared necessary 
for my comfortable support; for I considered the keeping up 
a breed of tame creatures thus at my hand would be a living 
magazine of flesh, milk, butter, and cheese for me as long as I 
lived in the place, if it were to be forty years ; and that keeping 
them in my reach depended entirely upon my perfecting my 
enclosures to such a degree, that I might be sure of keeping 
them together; which, by this method, indeed, I so effectually 
secured, that when these little stakes began to grow, I had 
planted them so very thick, I was forced to pull some of them 
up again. 

In this place also I had my grapes growing, which I prin- 
cipally depended on for my winter store of raisins, and which 
I never failed to preserve very carefully, as the best and most 
agreeable dainty of my whole diet. And indeed they were not 
agreeable only, but physical, wholesome, nourishing, and re- 
freshing to the last degree. 

As this was also about half-way between my other habita- 
tion and the place where I had laid up my boat, I generally 
stayed and lay here in my way thither; for I used frequently 
to visit my boat, and I kept all things about, or belonging to 
her, in very good order. Sometimes I went out in her to divert 
myself, but no more hazardous voyages would I go, nor scarce 
ever above a stone's cast or two from the shore, I was so appre- 
hensive of being hurried out of my knowledge again by the 
currents or winds, or any other accident. But now I come to a 
new scene of my life. 



Unexpected Alarm— Cause for Apprehension — He Fortifies His Abode 

IT happened one day, about noon, going towards my boat, 
I was exceedingly surprised with the print of a man's 
naked foot on the shore, which was very plain to be seen 
in the sand. I stood like one thunderstruck, or as if I had 
seen an apparition. I listened, I looked round me, I could 
hear nothing, nor see anything. I went up to a rising ground, 
to look farther. I went up the shore, and down the shore, but 
it was all one; I could see no other impression but that one. 
I went to it again to see if there were any more, and to ob- 
serve if it might not be my fancy; but there was no room for 
that, for there was exactly the very print of a foot — toes, heel, 
and every part of a foot. How it came thither I knew not, nor 
could in the least imagine. But after innumerable fluttering 
thoughts, like a man perfectly confused and out of myself, I 
came home to my fortification, not feeling, as we say, the 
ground I went on, but terrified to the last degree, looking be- 
hind me at every two or three steps, mistaking every bush and 
tree, and fancying every stump at a distance to be a man; nor 
is it possible to describe how many various shapes affrighted 
imagination represented things to me in, how many wild ideas 
were found every moment in my fancy, and what strange, un- 
accountable whimsies came into my thoughts by the way. 



When I came to my castle, for so I think I called it ever 
after this, I fled into it like one pursued. Whether I went over 
by the ladder, as first contrived, or went in at the hole in the 
rock, which I called a door, I cannot remember ; no, nor could I 
remember the next morning, for never frightened hare fled to 
cover, or fox to earth, with more terror of mind than I to this 

I slept none that night. The farther I was from the occa- 
sion of my fright, the greater my apprehensions were; which 
is something contrary to the nature of such things, and espe- 
cially to the usual practice of all creatures in fear. But I was 
so embarrassed with my own frightful ideas of the thing, that I 
formed nothing but dismal imaginations to myself, even though 
I was now a great way off it. Sometimes I fancied it must be 
the devil, and reason joined in with me upon this supposition; 
for how should any other thing in human shape come into the 
place? Where was the vessel that brought them? What 
marks were there of any other footsteps? And how was it 
possible a man should come there? But then to think that 
Satan should take human shape upon him in such a place, where 
there could be no manner of occasion for it, but to leave the 
print of his foot behind him, and that even for no purpose too, 
for he could not be sure I should see it ; this was an amusement 
the other way. I considered that the devil might have found 
out abundance of other ways to have terrified me than this of 
the single print of a foot ; that as I lived quite on the other side 
of the island, he would never have been so simple to leave a 
mark in a place where it was ten thousand to one whether I 


"I stood like one thunderstruck, or as if I had seen an apparition 


should ever see it or not, and in the sand too, which the first 
surge of the sea, upon a high wind, would have defaced entirely. 
All this seemed inconsistent with the thing itself, and with all 
the notions we usually entertain of the subtility of the devil. 

Abundance of such things as these assisted to argue me out 
of all apprehensions of its being the devil ; and I presently con- 
cluded then, that it must be some more dangerous creature, 
viz., that it must be some of the savages of the mainland over 
against me, who had wandered out to sea in their canoes, and, 
either driven by the currents or by contrary winds, had made 
the island, and had been on shore, but were gone away again to 
sea, being as loth, perhaps, to have stayed in this desolate island 
as I would have been to have had them. 

While these reflections were rolling upon my mind, I was 
very thankful in my thoughts that I was so happy as not to be 
thereabouts at that time, or that they did not see my boat, by 
which they would have concluded that some inhabitants had 
been in the place, and perhaps have searched farther for me. 
Then terrible thoughts racked my imagination about their hav- 
ing found my boat, and that there were people here; and that 
if so, I should certainly have them come again in greater num- 
bers, and devour me; and if it should happen so that they 
should not find me, yet they would find my enclosure, destroy 
all my corn, carry away all my flock of tame goats, and I should 
perish at last for mere want. 

Thus my fear banished all my religious hope. All that 
former confidence in God, which was founded upon such won- 
derful experience as I had had of His goodness, now vanished, 



as if He that had fed me by miracle hitherto could not preserve, 
by His power, the provision which He had made for me by His 
goodness. I reproached myself with my easiness, that would 
not sow any more corn one year than would just serve me till 
the next season, as if no accident could intervene to prevent my 
enjoying the crop that was upon the ground. And this I 
thought so just a reproof, that I resolved for the future to 
have two or three years' corn beforehand, so that, whatever 
might come, I might not perish for want of bread. 

How strange a checker-work of Providence is the life of 
man! and by what secret differing springs are the affections 
hurried about as differing circumstances present! To-day we 
love what to-morrow we hate; to-day we seek what to-morrow 
we shun; to-day we desire what to-morrow we fear; nay, even 
tremble at the apprehensions of. This was exemplified in me, 
at this time, in the most lively manner imaginable ; for I, whose 
only affliction was that I seemed banished from human society, 
that I was alone, circumscribed by the boundless ocean, cut off 
from mankind, and condemned to what I called silent life ; that 
I was as one whom Heaven thought not worthy to be numbered 
among the living, or to appear among the rest of His creatures ; 
that to have seen one of my own species would have seemed to 
me a raising me from death to life, and the greatest blessing 
that Heaven itself, next to the supreme blessing of salvation, 
could bestow; I say, that I should now tremble at the very ap- 
prehensions of seeing a man, and was ready to sink into the 
ground at but the shadow or silent appearance of a man's 
having set his foot in the island ! 



Such is the uneven state of human life ; and it afforded me a 
great many curious speculations afterwards, when I had a little 
recovered my first surprise. I considered that this was the sta- 
tion of life the infinitely wise and good providence of God had 
determined for me; that, as I could not foresee what the ends of 
Divine wisdom might be in all this, so I was not to dispute His 
sovereignty, who, as I was His creature, had an undoubted 
right, by creation, to govern and dispose of me absolutely as 
He thought fit, and who, as I was a creature who had offended 
Him, had likewise a judicial right to condemn me to what pun- 
ishment He thought fit ; and that it was my part to submit to 
bear His indignation, because I had sinned against Him. 

I then reflected that God, who was not only righteous, but 
omnipotent, as He had thought fit thus to punish and afflict me, 
so He was able to deliver me ; that if He did not think fit to do 
it 'twas my unquestioned duty to resign myself absolutely and 
entirely to His will ; and, on the other hand, it was my duty also 
to hope in Him, pray to Him, and quietly to attend the dictates 
and directions of His daily providence. 

These thoughts took me up many hours, days, nay, I may 
say, weeks and months ; and one particular effect of my cogita- 
tions on this occasion I cannot omit, viz., one morning early, 
lying in my bed, and filled with thought about my danger from 
the appearance of savages, I found it discomposed me very 
much; upon which those words of the Scripture came into my 
thoughts, "Call upon Me in the day of trouble, and I will de- 
liver, and thou shalt glorify Me." 

Upon this, rising cheerfully out of my bed, my heart was 



not only comforted, but I was guided and encouraged to pray 
earnestly to God for deliverance. When I had done praying, 
I took up my Bible, and opening it to read, the first words that 
presented to me were, "Wait on the Lord, and be of good cheer, 
and He shall strengthen thy heart; wait, I say, on the Lord." 
It is impossible to express the comfort this gave me. In an- 
swer, I thankfully laid down the book, and was no more sad, 
at least, not on that occasion. 

In the middle of these cogitations, apprehensions, and re- 
flections, it came into my thought one da} T , that all this might 
be a mere chimera of my own ; and that this foot might be the 
print of my own foot, when I came on shore from my boat. 
This cheered me up a little too, and I began to persuade myself 
it was all a delusion, that it was nothing else but my own foot ; 
and why might not I come that way from the boat, as well as I 
was going that way to the boat ? Again, I considered also, that 
I could by no means tell, for certain, where I had trod, and 
where I had not ; and that if, at last, this was only the print of 
my own foot, I had played the part of those fools who strive 
to make stories of spectres and apparitions, and then are 
frightened at them more than anybody. 

Now I began to take courage, and to peep abroad again, 
for I had not stirred out of my castle for three days and nights, 
so that I began to starve for provision ; for I had little or noth- 
ing within doors but some barley-cakes and water. Then I 
knew that my goats wanted to be milked too, which usually was 
my evening diversion; and the poor creatures were in great 
pain and inconvenience for want of it; and, indeed, it al- 



most spoiled some of them, and almost dried up their milk. 

Heartening myself, therefore, with the belief that this was 
nothing but the print of one of my own feet, and so I might be 
truly said to start at my own shadow, I began to go abroad 
again, and went to my counhy house to milk my flock. Rut to 
see with what fear I went forward, how often I looked behind 
me, how I was ready, every now and then, to lay down my 
basket, and run for my life, it would have made any one have 
thought I was haunted with an evil conscience, or that I had 
been lately most terribly frightened ; and so, indeed, I had. 

However, as I went down thus two or three days, and hav- 
ing seen nothing, I began to be a little bolder, and to think 
there was really nothing in it but my own imagination. But 
I could not persuade myself fully of this till I should go down 
to the shore again, and see this print of a foot, and measure it 
by my own, and see if there was any similitude or fitness, that 
I might be assured it was my own foot. But when I came to 
the place, first, it appeared evidently to me, that when I laid up 
my boat, I could not possibly be on shore anywhere thereabout ; 
secondly, when I came to measure the mark with my own foot, 
I found my foot not so large by a great deal. Both these 
things filled my head with new imaginings, and gave me the 
vapors again to the highest degree; so that I shook with cold, 
like one in an ague ; and I went home again, filled with the be- 
lief that some man or men had been on shore there; or, in short, 
that the island was inhabited, and I might be surprised before J 
was aware. And what course to take for my security, I knew 



Oh, what ridiculous resolutions men take when possessed 
with fear! It deprives them of the use of those means which 
reason offers for their relief. The first thing I proposed to 
myself was to throw down my enclosures, and turn all my tame 
cattle wild into the woods, that the enemy might not find them, 
and then frequent the island in prospect of the same or the like 
booty; then to the simple thing of digging up my two corn- 
fields, that they might not find such a grain there, and still be 
prompted to frequent the island; then to demolish my bower 
and tent, that they might not see any vestiges of habitation, and 
be prompted to look farther, in order to find out the persons 

These were the subject of the first night's cogitation, after 
I was come home again, while the apprehensions which had so 
overrun my mind were fresh upon me, and my head was full 
of vapors, as above. Thus fear of danger is ten thousand times 
more terrifying than danger itself when apparent to the eyes ; 
and we find the burden of anxiety greater, by much, than the 
evil which we are anxious about ; and, which was worse than all 
this, I had not that relief in this trouble from the resignation I 
used to practise, that I hoped to have. I looked, I thought, 
like Saul, who complained not only that the Philistines were 
upon him, but that God had forsaken him; for I did not now 
take due ways to compose my mind, by crying to God in my 
distress, and resting upon His providence, as I had done before, 
for my defence and deliverance ; which, if I had done, I had at 
least been more cheerfully supported under this new surprise, 
and perhaps carried through it with more resolution. 



This confusion of my thoughts kept me waking all night, 
but in the morning I fell asleep; and having, by the amuse- 
ment of my mind, been, as it were, tired, and my spirits ex- 
hausted, I slept very soundly, and waked much better com- 
posed than I had ever been before. And now I began to 
think sedately; and upon the utmost debate with myself, I 
concluded that this island, which was so exceeding pleasant, 
fruitful, and no farther from the mainland than as I had seen, 
was not so entirely abandoned as I might imagine; that al- 
though there were no stated inhabitants who lived on the 
spot, yet that there might sometimes come boats off from the 
shore, which, either with design, or perhaps never but when they 
were driven by cross winds, might come to this place; that I 
had lived here fifteen years now, and had not met with the 
least shadow or figure of any people yet ; and that if at any time 
they should be driven here, it was probable they went away 
again as soon as ever they could, seeing they had never thought 
fit to fix there upon any occasion to this time; that the most 
I could suggest any danger from, was from any such casual 
accidental landing of straggling people from the main, who, 
as it was likely if they were driven hither, were here against 
their wills; so thev made no stay here, but went off again 
with all possible speed, seldom staying one night on shore, lest 
they should not have the help of the. tides and daylight back 
again ; and that, therefore, I had nothing to do but to consider 
of some safe retreat, in case I should see any savages land upon 
the spot. 

Now I began sorely to repent that I had dug my cave so 



large as to bring a door through again, which door, as I said, 
came out beyond where my fortification joined to the rock. 
Upon maturely considering this, therefore, I resolved to draw 
me a second fortification in the same manner of a semicircle, at 
a distance from my wall, just where I had planted a double 
row of trees about twelve years before, of which I made men- 
tion. These trees having been planted so thick before, they 
wanted but a few piles to be driven between them, that they 
should be thicker and stronger, and my wall would be soon 

So that I had now a double wall; and my outer wall was 
thickened with pieces of timber, old cables, and everything 
I could think of, to make it strong, having in it seven little 
holes, about as big as I might put my arm out at. In the in- 
side of this I thickened my wall to about ten feet thick, with 
continual bringing earth out of my cave, and laying it at the 
foot of the wall, and walking upon it; and through the seven 
holes I contrived to plant the muskets, of which I took notice 
that I got seven on shore out of the ship. These, I say, I 
planted like my cannon, and fitted them into frames, that 
held them like a carriage, that so I could fire all the seven guns 
in two minutes' time. This wall I was many a weary month 
a-finishing, and yet never thought myself safe till it was done. 

When this was done, I stuck all the ground without my 
wall, for a great way every way, as full with stakes, or sticks, 
of the osier-like wood, which I found so apt to grow, as they 
could well stand ; insomuch, that I believe I might set in near 
twenty thousand of them, leaving a pretty large space between 



them and my wall, that I might have room to see an enemy, and 
they might have no shelter from the young trees, if they at- 
tempted to approach my outer wall. 

Thus in two years' time I had a thick grove; and in five 
or six years' time I had a wood before my dwelling, growing so 
monstrous thick and strong, that it was indeed perfectly im- 
passable; and no men, of what kind soever, would ever im- 
agine that there was anything beyond it, much less a habita- 
tion. As for the way which I proposed to myself to go in 
and out, for I left no avenue, it was by setting two ladders, 
one to a part of the rock which was low, and then broke in, 
and left room to place another ladder upon that; so when the 
two ladders were taken down, no man living could come down 
to me without hurting himself ; and if they had come down, they 
were still on the outside of my outer wall. 

Thus I took all the measures human prudence could sug- 
gest for my own preservation ; and it will be seen, at length, that 
they were not altogether without just reason; though I fore- 
saw nothing at that time more than my mere fear suggested 
to me. 

While this was doing, I was not altogether careless of my 
other affairs; for I had a great concern upon me for my little 
herd of goats. They were not only a present supply to me 
upon every occasion, and began to be sufficient to me, without 
the expense of powder and shot, but also without the fatigue 
of hunting after the wild ones ; and I was loth to lose the ad- 
vantage of them, and to have them all to nurse up over again. 

To this purpose, after long consideration, I could think of 



but two ways to preserve them. One was, to find another con- 
venient place to dig a cave under ground, and to drive them 
into it every night ; and the other was, to enclose two or three 
little bits of land, remote from one another, and as much con- 
cealed as I could, where I might keep about half a dozen young 
goats in each place; so that if any disaster happened to the 
flock in general, I might be able to raise them again with little 
trouble and time. And this, though it would require a great 
deal of time and labor, I thought was the most rational design. 
Accordingly I spent some time to find out the most retired 
parts of the island; and I pitched upon one which was as 
private indeed as my heart could wish for. It was a little 
damp piece of ground, in the middle of the hollow and thick 
woods, where, as is observed, I almost lost myself once before, 
endeavoring to come back that way from the eastern part of 
the island. Here I found a clear piece of land, near three 
acres, so surrounded with woods, that it was almost an en- 
closure by Nature; at least, it did not want near so much 
labor to make it so as the other pieces of ground I had worked 
so hard at. 



Precautions Agamst Surprise — Robinson Discovers that His Island 
Has Been Visited by Cannibals 

I IMMEDIATELY went to work with this piece of 
ground, and in less than a month's time I had so fenced 
it round, that my flock, or herd, call it which you please, 
who were not so wild now as at first they might be supposed to 
be, were well enough secured in it. So, without any farther 
delay, I removed ten young she-goats and two he-goats to this 
piece. And when they were there, I continued to perfect the 
fence, till I had made it as secure as the other, which, however, 
I did at more leisure, and it took me up more time by a great 

All this labor I was at the expense of, purely from my 
apprehensions on the account of the print of a man's foot which 
I had seen; for, as yet, I never saw any human creature come 
near the island. And I had now lived two years under these 
uneasinesses, which, indeed, made my life much less comfortable 
than it was before, as may well be imagined by any who know 
what it is to live in the constant snare of the fear of man. And 
this I must observe, with grief too, that the discomposure of 
my mind had too great impressions also upon the religious part 
of my thoughts; for the dread and terror of falling into the 
hands of savages and cannibals lay so upon my spirits, that I 



seldom found myself in a due temper or application to my 
Maker, at least not with the sedate calmness and resignation of 
soul which I was wont to do. I rather prayed to God as un- 
der great affliction and pressure of mind, surrounded with 
danger, and in expectation every night of being murdered and 
devoured before morning; and I must testify from my ex- 
perience, that a temper of peace, thankfulness, love, and af- 
fection, is much more the proper frame for prayer than that of 
terror and discomposure ; and that under the dread of mischief 
impending, a man is no more fit for a comforting performance 
of the duty of praying to God, than he is for repentance on a 
sick-bed. For these discomposures affect the mind, as the 
others do the body; and the discomposure of the mind must 
necessarily be as great a disability as that of the body, and 
much greater, praying to God being properly an act of the 
mind, not of the body. 

But to go on. After I had thus secured one part of my 
little living stock, I went about the whole island, searching for 
another private place to make such another deposit; when, 
wandering more to the west point of the island than I had 
ever done yet, and looking out to sea, I thought I saw a boat 
upon the sea, at a great distance. I had found a perspective 
glass or two in one of the seamen's chests, which I saved out of 
our ship, but I had it not about me; and this was so remote, 
that I could not tell what to make of it, though I looked at it 
till my eyes were not able to hold to look any longer. Whether 
it was a boat or not, I do not know; but as I descended from 
the hill, I could see no more of it, so I gave it over; only 



I resolved to go no more out without a perspective glass in my 

When I was come down the hill to the end of the island, 
where, indeed, I had never been before, I was presently con- 
vinced that the seeing the print of a man's foot was not such 
a strange thing in the island as I imagined. And, but that 
it was a special providence that I was cast upon the side of the 
island where the savages never came, I should easily have 
known that nothing was more frequent than for the canoes from 
the main, when they happened to be a little too far out at sea, 
to shoot over to that side of the island for harbor ; likewise, as 
they often met and fought in their canoes, the victors having 
taken any prisoners would bring them over to this shore, where, 
according to their dreadful customs, being all cannibals, they 
would kill and eat them; of which hereafter. 

When I was come down the hill to the shore, as I said above, 
being the S.W. point of the island, I was perfectly confounded 
and amazed; nor is it possible for me to express the horror of 
my mind at seeing the shore spread with skulls, hands, feet, and 
other bones of human bodies; and particularly, I observed a 
place where there had been a fire made, and a circle dug in the 
earth, like a cockpit, where it is supposed the savage wretches 
had sat down to the inhuman feastings upon the bodies of 
their fellow-creatures. 

I was so astonished with the sight of these things, that I 
entertained no notion of any danger to myself from it for a 
long while. All my apprehensions were buried in the thoughts 
of such a pitch of inhuman, hellish brutality, and the horror 



of the degeneracy of human nature, which, though I had heard 
of often, yet I never had so near a view of before. In short, 
I turned away my face from the horrid spectacle. My stomach 
grew sick, and I was just at the point of fainting, when Nature 
discharged the disorder from my stomach. And having 
vomited with an uncommon violence, I was a little relieved, but 
could not bear to stay in the place a moment ; so I got me up 
the hill again with all the speed I could, and walked on towards 
my own habitation. 

When I came a little out of that part of the island, I stood 
still a while, as amazed ; and then recovering myself, I looked up 
with the utmost affection of my soul, and with a flood of tears 
in my eyes, gave God thanks, that had cast my first lot in a part 
of the world where I was distinguished from such dreadful crea- 
tures as these ; and that, though I had esteemed my present con- 
dition very miserable, had yet given me so many comforts in 
it, that I had still more to give thanks for than to complain of ; 
and this above all, that I had, even in this miserable condition, 
been comforted with the knowledge of Himself, and the hope 
of His blessing; which was a felicity more than sufficiently 
equivalent to all the misery which I had suffered, or could 

In this frame of thankfulness I went home to my castle, 
and began to be much easier now, as to the safety of my cir- 
cumstances, than ever I was before; for I observed that these 
wretches never came to this island in search of what they could 
get; perhaps not seeking, not wanting, or not expecting, any- 
thing here; and having often, no doubt, been up in the cov- 



ered, woody part of it, without finding anything to their pur- 
pose. I knew I had been here now almost eighteen years, 
and never saw the least footsteps of human creature there be- 
fore ; and I might be here eighteen more as entirely concealed 
as I was now, if I did not discover myself to them, which I 
had no manner of occasion to do; it being my only business 
to keep myself entirely concealed where I was, unless I found 
a better sort of creatures than cannibals to make myself known 

Yet I entertained such an abhorrence of the savage wretches 
that I have been speaking of, and of the wretched, inhuman 
custom of their devouring and eating one another up, that I 
continued pensive and sad, and kept close within my own circle 
for almost two years after this. When I say my own circle, 
I mean by it my three plantations, viz., my castle, my country 
seat, which I called my bower, and my enclosure in the woods. 
Nor did I look after this for any other use than as an enclosure 
for my goats ; for the aversion which Nature gave me to these 
hellish wretches was such, that I was fearful of seeing them as 
of seeing the devil himself. Nor did I so much as go to look 
after my boat in all this time, but began rather to think of 
making me another ; for I could not think of ever making any 
more attempts to bring the other boat round the island to me, 
lest I should meet with some of these creatures at sea, in 
which, if I had happened to have fallen into their hands, I 
knew what would have been my lot. 

Time, however, and the satisfaction I had that I was in no 
danger of being discovered by these people, began to wear off 



my uneasiness about them; and I began to live just in the same 
composed manner as before; only with this difference, that I 
used more caution, and kept my eyes more about me, than I 
did before, lest I should happen to be seen by any of them; 
and particularly, I was more cautious of firing my gun, lest any 
of them being on the island should happen to hear of it. And 
it was, therefore, a very good providence to me that I had 
furnished myself with a tame breed of goats, that I needed not 
hunt any more about the woods, or shoot at them. And if I 
did catch any of them after this, it was by traps and snares, 
as I had done before; so that for two years after this I be- 
lieve I never fired my gun once off, though I never went out 
without it; and, which was more, as I had saved three pistols 
out of the ship, I always carried them out with me, or at least 
two of them, sticking them in my goat-skin belt. Also I 
furbished up one of the great cutlasses that I had out of the 
ship, and made me a belt to put it on also; so that I was now 
a most formidable fellow to look at when I went abroad, if you 
add to the former description of myself the particular of two 
pistols, and a great broadsword hanging at my side in a belt, 
but without a scabbard. 

Things going on thus, as I have said, for some time, I 
seemed, excepting these cautions, to be reduced to my former 
calm, sedate way of living. All these things tended to showing 
me, more and more, how far my condition was from being 
miserable, compared to some others; nay, to many other par- 
ticulars of life, which it might have pleased God to have made 
my lot. It put me upon reflecting how little repining there 



would be among mankind at any condition of life, if people 
would rather compare their condition with those that are worse, 
in order to be thankful, than be always comparing them with 
those which are better, to assist their murmurings and com- 

As in my present condition there were not really many 
things which I wanted, so indeed I thought that the frights 
I had been in about these savage wretches, and the concern I 
had been in for my own preservation, had taken off the edge of 
my invention for my own conveniences. And I had dropped 
a good design, which I had once bent my thoughts too much 
upon; and that was, to try if I could not make some of my 
barley into malt, and then try to brew myself some beer. This 
was really a whimsical thought, and I reproved myself often 
for the simplicity of it ; for I presently saw there would be the 
want of several things necessary to the making my beer, that 
it would be impossible for me to supply. As, first, casks to 
preserve it in, which was a thing that, as I have observed al- 
ready, I could never compass; no, though I spent not many 
days, but weeks, nay, months, in attempting it, but to no pur- 
pose. In the next place, I had no hops to make it keep, no 
yeast to make it work, no copper or kettle to make it boil ; and 
yet all these things notwithstanding, I verily believe, had not 
these things intervened, I mean the frights and terrors I was 
in about the savages, I had undertaken it, and perhaps brought 
it to pass too; for I seldom gave anything over without ac- 
complishing it when I once had it in my head enough to 
begin it. 



By my invention now ran quite another way; for, night 
and day, I could think of nothing but how I might destroy 
some of these monsters in their cruel, bloody entertainment, 
and, if possible, save the victim they should bring hither to 
destroy. It would take up a larger volume than this whole 
work is intended to be, to set down all the contrivances I 
hatched, or rather brooded upon, in my thought, for the de- 
stroying these creatures, or at least frightening them so as to 
prevent their coming hither any more. But all was abortive; 
nothing could be possible to take effect, unless I was to be 
there to do it myself. And what could one man do among 
them, when perhaps there might be twenty or thirty of them 
together, with their darts, or their bows and arrows, which 
they could shoot as true to a mark as I could with my gun? 

Sometimes I contrived to dig a hole under the place where 
they made their fire, and put in five or six pounds of gun- 
powder, which, when they kindled their fire, would consequently 
take fire, and blow up all that was near it. But as, in the 
first place, I should be very loth to waste so much powder 
upon them, my store being now within the quantity of one 
barrel, so neither could I be sure of its going off at any certain 
time, when it might surprise them; and, at best, that it would 
do little more than just blow the fire about their ears, and 
frighten them, but not sufficient to make them forsake the 
place. So I laid it aside, and then proposed that I would place 
myself in ambush in some convenient place, with my three guns 
all double-loaded, and, in the middle of their bloody ceremony, 
let fly at them, when I should be sure to kill or wound perhaps 



two or three at every shot ; and then falling in upon them with 
my three pistols and my sword, I made no doubt but that 
if there was twenty I should kill them all. This fancy pleased 
my thoughts for some weeks; and I was so full of it, that I 
often dreamed of it, and sometimes that I was just going to 
let fly at them in my sleep. 

I went so far with it in my imagination, that I employed 
myself several days to find out proper places to put myself in 
ambuscade, as I said, to watch for them; and I went fre- 
quently to the place itself, which was now grown more familiar 
to me; and especially while my mind was thus filled with 
thoughts of revenge, and of a bloody putting twenty or thirty 
of them to the sword, as I may call it, the horror I had at the 
place, and at the signals of the barbarous wretches devouring 
one another, abated my malice. 

Well, at length I found a place in the side of the hill, where 
I was satisfied I might securely wait till I saw any of their 
boats coming; and might then, even before they would be 
ready to come on shore, convey myself, unseen, into thickets 
of trees, in one of which there was a hollow large enough to 
conceal me entirely; and where I might sit and observe all 
their bloody doings, and take my full aim at their heads, when 
they were so close together, as that it would be next to im- 
possible that I should miss my shot, or that I could fail wound- 
ing three or f our of them at the first shot. 

In this place, then, I resolved to fix my design; and, ac- 
cordingly, I prepared two muskets and my ordinary fowling- 
piece. The two muskets I loaded with a brace of slugs each, 



and four or five smaller bullets, about the size of pistol-bullets ; 
and the fowling-piece I loaded with near a handful of swan- 
shot, of the largest size. I also loaded my pistols with about 
four bullets each; and in this posture, well provided with am- 
munition for a second and third charge, I prepared myself for 
my expedition. 

After I had thus laid the scheme of my design, and in my 
imagination put it in practice, I continually made my tour 
every morning up to the top of the hill, which was from my 
castle, as I called it, about three miles, or more, to see if I 
could observe any boats upon the sea coming near the island, or 
standing over towards it. But I began to tire of this hard 
duty, after I had, for two or three months, constantly kept 
my watch, but came always back without any discovery ; there 
having not, in all that time, been the least appearance, not only 
on or near the shore, but not on the whole ocean so far as my 
eyes or glasses could reach every way. 

As long as I kept up my daily tour to the hill to look out, 
so long also I kept up the vigor of my design, and my spirits 
seemed to be all the while in a suitable form for so outrageous 
an execution as the killing twenty or thirty naked savages for 
an offence which I had not at all entered into a discussion of in 
my thoughts, any farther than my passions were at first fired 
by the horror I conceived at the unnatural custom of that 
people of the country; who, it seems, had been suffered by 
Providence, in His wise disposition of the world, to have no 
other guide than that of their own abominable and vitiated 
passions; and consequently were left, and perhaps had been so 



for some ages, to act such horrid things, and receive such dread- 
ful customs, as nothing but nature entirely abandoned of 
Heaven, and acted by some hellish degeneracy, could have run 
them into. But now when, as I have said, I began to be 
weary of the fruitless excursion which I had made so long and 
so far every morning in vain, so my opinion of the action it- 
self began to alter; and I began, with cooler and calmer 
thoughts, to consider what it was I was going to engage in. 

What authority or call I had to pretend to be judge and 
executioner upon these men as criminals, whom Heaven had 
thought fit, for so many ages, to suffer, unpunished, to go on, 
and to be, as it were, the executioners of His judgments one 
upon another? How far these people were offenders against 
me, and what right I had to engage in the quarrel of that blood 
which they shed promiscuously one upon another? I debated 
this very often with myself, thus : How do I know what God 
Himself judges in this particular case? It is certain these 
people either do not commit this as a crime; it is not against 
their own consciences' reproving, or their light reproaching 
them. They do not know it to be an offense, and then commit 
it in defiance of Divine justice, as we do in almost all the sins 
we commit. They think it no more a crime to kill a captive 
taken in war, than we do to kill an ox ; nor to eat human flesh, 
than we do to eat mutton. 

When I had considered this a little, it followed necessarily 
that I was certainly in the wrong in it ; that these people were 
not murderers in the sense that I had before condemned them 
in my thoughts, any more than those Christians were murderers 



who often put to death the prisoners taken in battle; or more 
frequently, upon many occasions, put whole troops of men to 
the sword, without giving quarter, though they threw down 
their arms and submitted. 

In the next place it occurred to me, that albeit the usage 
they thus gave one another was thus brutish and inhuman, 
yet it was really nothing to me; these people had done me no 
injury. That if they attempted me, or I saw it necessary for 
my immediate preservation to fall upon them, something might 
be said for it; but that as I was yet out of their power, and 
they had really no knowledge of me, and consequently no 
design upon me, and therefore it could not be just for me 
to fall upon them. That this would justify the conduct of 
the Spaniards in all their barbarities practised in America, and 
where they destroyed millions of these people; who, however 
they were idolaters and barbarians, and had several bloody 
and barbarous rites in their customs, such as sacrificing human 
bodies to their idols, were yet, as to the Spaniards, very inno- 
cent people; and that the rooting them out of the country is 
spoken of with the utmost abhorrence and detestation by even 
the Spaniards themselves at this time, and by all other Chris- 
tian nations of Europe, as a mere butchery, a bloody and un- 
natural piece of cruelty, unjustifiable either to God or man; 
and such, as for which the very name of a Spaniard is reckoned 
to be frightful and terrible to all people of humanity, or of 
Christian compassion; as if the kingdom of Spain were par- 
ticularly eminent for the product of a race of men who were 
without principles of tenderness, or the common bowels of 



pity to the miserable, which is reckoned to be a mark of gener- 
ous temper in the mind. 

These considerations really put me to a pause, and to 
a kind of a full stop ; and I began, by little and little, to be off 
of my design, and to conclude I had taken wrong measures 
in my resolutions to attack the savages; that it was not my 
business to meddle with them, unless they first attacked me; 
and this it was my business, if possible, to prevent; but that 
if I were discovered and attacked, then I knew my duty. 

On the other hand, I argued with myself that this really 
was the way not to deliver myself, but entirely to ruin and 
destroy myself; for unless I was sure to kill every one that 
not only should be on shore at that time, but that should ever 
come on shore afterwards, if but one of them escaped to tell 
their country people what had happened, they would come 
over again by thousands to revenge the death of their fellows, 
and I should only bring upon myself a certain destruction, 
which, at present, I had no manner of occasion for. 

Upon the whole, I concluded that neither in principles nor 
in policy I ought, one way or other, to concern myself in this 
affair. That my business was, by all possible means, to con- 
ceal myself from them, and not to leave the least signal to 
them to guess by that there were any living creatures upon 
the island; I mean of human shape. 

Religion joined in with this prudential, and I was convinced 
now, many ways, that I was perfectly out of my duty when I 
was laying all my bloody schemes for the destruction of inno- 
cent creatures; I mean innocent as to me. As to the crimes 



they were guilty of towards one another, I had nothing to do 
with them. They were national, and I ought to leave them to 
the justice of God, who is the Governor of nations, and knows 
how, by national punishments, to make a just retribution for 
national offenses, and to bring public judgments upon those 
who offend in a public manner by such ways as best pleases 

This appeared so clear to me now, that nothing was a 
greater satisfaction to me than that I had not been suffered 
to do a thing which I now saw so much reason to believe would 
have been no less a sin than that of wilful murder, if I had 
committed it. And I gave most humble thanks on my knees 
to God, that had thus delivered me from blood-guiltiness; be- 
seeching Him to grant me the protection of His providence, 
that I might not fall into the hands of the barbarians, or that 
I might not lay my hands upon them, unless I had a more clear 
call from Heaven to do it, in defense of my own life. 



Robinson Discovers a Cave, which Serves Him as a Retreat 
Against the Savages 

IN this disposition I continued for near a year after this; 
and so far was I from desiring an occasion for falling upon 
these wretches, that in all that time I never once went up 
the hill to see whether there were any of them in sight, or to 
know whether any of them had been on shore there or not, that 
I might not be tempted to renew any of my contrivances 
against them, or be provoked, by any advantage which might 
present itself, to fall upon them. Only this I did, I went 
and removed my boat, which I had on the other side the island, 
and carried it down to the east end of the whole island, where 
I ran it into a little cove, which I found under some high 
rocks, and where I knew, by reason of the currents, the sav- 
ages durst not, at least would not come, with their boats, upon 
any account whatsoever. 

With my boat I carried away everything that I had left 
there belonging to her, though not necessary for the bare go- 
ing thither, viz., a mast and sail which I had made for her, 
and a thing like an anchor, but indeed which could not be 
called either anchor or grappling; however, it was the best I 
could make of its kind. All these I removed, that there might 
not be the least shadow of any discovery, or any appearance 



of any boat, or of any human habitation, upon the island. 

Besides this, I kept myself, as I said, more retired than 
ever, and seldom went from my cell, other than upon my con- 
stant employment, viz., to milk my she-goats, and manage my 
little flock in the wood, which, as it was quite on the other part 
of the island, was quite out of danger; for certain it is, that 
these savage people, who sometimes haunted this island, never 
came with any thoughts of finding anything here, and con- 
sequently never wandered off from the coast; and I doubt 
not but they might have been several times on shore after my 
apprehensions of them had made me cautious, as well as before; 
and indeed, I looked back with some horror upon the thoughts 
of what my condition would have been if I had chopped upon 
them and been discovered before that, when, naked and un- 
armed, except with one gun, and that loaded often only with 
small shot, I walked everywhere, peeping and peeping about 
the island to see what I could get. What a surprise should 
I have been in if, when I discovered the print of a man's foot, 
I had, instead of that, seen fifteen or twenty savages, and 
found them pursuing me, and by the swiftness of their running, 
no possibility of my escaping them! 

The thoughts of this sometimes sunk my very soul within 
me, and distressed my mind so much, that I could not soon 
recover it, to think what I should have done, and how I not 
only should not have been able to resist them, but even should 
not have had presence of mind enough to do what I might 
have done, much less what now, after so much consideration 
and preparation, I might be able to do. Indeed, after serious 



thinking of these things, I should be very melancholy, and 
sometimes it would last a great while; but I resolved it, at last, 
all into thankfulness to that Providence which had delivered 
me from so many unseen dangers, and had kept me from those 
mischiefs which I could no way have been the agent in de- 
livering myself from, because I had not the least notion of 
any such thing depending, or the least supposition of it beang 

This renewed a contemplation which often had come to 
my thoughts in former time, when first I began to see the 
merciful dispositions of Heaven, in the dangers we run through 
in this life. How wonderfully we are delivered when we know 
nothing of it. How, when we are in a quandary, as we call it. 
a doubt or hesitation, whether to go this way, or that way, a 
secret hint shall direct us this way, when we intended to go 
that way; nay, when sense, our own inclination, and perhaps 
business, has called to go the other way, yet a strange impres- 
sion upon the mind, from we know not what springs, and by 
we know not what power, shall overrule us to go this way ; and 
it shall afterwards appear, that had we gone that way which 
we should have gone, and even to our imagination ought to 
have gone, we should have been ruined and lost. Upon these 
and many like reflections I afterwards made it a certain rule 
with me, that whenever I found those secret hints or pressings 
of my mind to doing, or not doing, anything that presented, 
or to going this way or that way, I never failed to obey the 
secret dictate, though I knew no other reason for it than that 
such a pressure, or such a hint, hung upon my mind. I could 



give many examples of the success of this conduct in the course 
of my life, but more especially in the latter part of my inhabit- 
ing this unhappy island; besides many occasions which it is 
very likely I might have taken notice of, if I had seen with 
the same eyes then that I saw with now. But 'tis never too 
late to be wise; and I cannot but advise all considering men, 
whose lives are attended with such extraordinary incidents as 
mine, or even though not so extraordinary, not to slight such 
secret intimations of Providence, let them come from what 
invisible intelligence they will. That I shall not discuss, and 
perhaps cannot account for; but certainly they are a proof of 
the converse of spirits, and the secret communication between 
those embodied and those unembodied, and such a proof as can 
never be withstood, of which I shall have occasion to give some 
very remarkable instances in the remainder of my solitary resi- 
dence in this dismal place. 

I believe the reader of this will not think strange if I con- 
fess that these anxieties, these constant dangers I lived in, and 
the concern that was now upon me, put an end to all invention, 
and to all the contrivances that I had laid for my future ac- 
commodations and conveniences. I had the care of my safety 
more now upon my hands than that of my food. I cared not 
to drive a nail, or chop a stick of wood now, for fear the noise 
I should make should be heard ; much less would I fire a gun, 
for the same reason; and, above all, I was intolerably uneasy 
at making any fire, lest the smoke, which is visible at a great 
distance in the day, should betray me; and for this reason I re- 
moved that part of my business which required fire, such as 



burning of pots and pipes, etc., into my new apartment in the 
woods ; where, after I had been some time, I found, to my un- 
speakable consolation, a mere natural cave in the earth, which 
went in a vast way, and where, I dare say, no savage, had he 
been at the mouth of it, would be so hardy as to venture in; 
nor, indeed, would any man else, but one who, like me, wanted 
nothing so much as a safe retreat. 

The mouth of this hollow was at the bottom of a great 
rock, where, by mere accident I would say (if I did not see 
abundant reason to ascribe all such things now to Providence) , 
I was cutting down some thick branches of trees to make char- 
coal; and before I go on, I must observe the reason of my 
making this charcoal, which was thus. 

I was afraid of making a smoke about my habitation, as 
I said before ; and yet I could not live there without baking my 
bread, cooking my meat, etc. So I contrived to burn some 
wood here, as I had seen done in England under turf, till it 
became chark, or dry coal; and then putting the fire out, I 
preserved the coal to carry home, and perform the other services 
which fire was wanting for at home, without danger of smoke. 

But this is by the bye. While I was cutting down some 
wood here, I perceived that behind a very thick branch of low 
brushwood, or underwood, there was a kind of hollow place. I 
was curious to look into it ; and getting with difficulty- into the 
mouth of it, I found it was pretty large; that is to say, suffi- 
cient for me to stand upright in it, and perhaps another with 
me. But I must confess to you I made more haste out than I 
did in when, looking farther into the place, and which was 



perfectly dark, I saw two broad shining eyes of some creature, 
whether devil or man I knew not, which twinkled like two 
stars, the dim light from the cave's mouth shining directly in, 
and making the reflection. 

However, after some pause I recovered myself, and be- 
gan to call myself a thousand fools, and tell myself that he 
that was afraid to see the devil was not fit to live twenty years 
on an island all alone, and that I durst to believe there was 
nothing in this cave that was more frightful than myself. 
Upon this, plucking up my courage, I took up a great fire- 
brand, and in I rushed again, with the stick flaming in my 
hand. I had not gone three steps in, but I was almost as 
much frightened as I was before; for I heard a very loud sigh, 
like that of a man in some pain, and it was followed by a 
broken noise, as if of words half expressed, and then a deep 
sigh again. I stepped back, and was indeed struck with such 
a surprise, that it put me into a cold sweat; and if I had had 
a hat on my head, I will not answer for it, that my hair might 
not have lifted it off. But still plucking up my spirits as well 
as I could, and encouraging myself a little with considering 
that the power and presence of God was everywhere, and was 
able to protect me, upon this I stepped forward again, and by 
the light of the firebrand, holding it up a little over my head, I 
saw lying on the ground a most monstrous, frightful, old he- 
goat, just making his will, as we say, and gasping for life; 
and dying, indeed, of mere old age. 

I stirred him a little to see if I could get him out, and he 
essayed to get up, but was not able to raise himself; and I 



thought with myself he might even lie there ; for if he had fright- 
ened me so, he would certainly frighten any of the savages, 
if any of them should be so hardy as to come in there while he 
had any life in him. 

I was now recovered from my surprise, and began to look 
around me, when I found the cave was but very small; that is 
to say, it might be about twelve feet over, but in no manner of 
shape, either round or square, no hands having ever been em- 
ployed in making it but those of mere Nature. I observed 
also that there was a place at the farther side of it that went 
in farther, but was so low, that it required me to creep upon 
my hands and knees to go into it, and whither I went I knew 
not; so having no candle, I gave it over for some time, but 
resolved to come again the next day, provided with candles and 
a tinderbox, which I had made of the lock of one of the muskets, 
with some wild-fire in the pan. 

Accordingly, the next day I came provided with six large 
candles of my own making, for I made very good candles 
now of goat's tallow; and going into this low place, I was 
obliged to creep upon all fours, as I have said, almost ten 
yards ; which, by the way, I thought was a venture bold enough, 
considering that I knew not how far it might go, nor what was 
beyond it. When I was got through the strait, I found the 
roof rose higher up, I believe near twenty feet. But never 
was such a glorious sight seen in the island, I dare say, as it 
was, to look round the sides and roof of this vault or cave; 
the walls reflected a hundred thousand lights to me from my 
two candles. What it was in the rock, whether diamonds. 



or any other precious stones, or gold, which I rather supposed 
it to be, I knew not. 

The place I was in was a most delightful cavity or grotto 
of its kind, as could be expected, though perfectly dark. The 
floor was dry and level, and had a sort of small loose gravel 
upon it, so that there was no nauseous or venomous creature 
to be seen; neither was there any damp or wet on the sides or 
roof. The only difficulty in it was the entrance, which, how- 
ever, as it was a place of security, and such a retreat as I 
wanted, I thought that was a convenience ; so that I was really 
rejoiced at the discovery, and resolved, without any delay, to 
bring some of those things which I was most anxious about 
to this place; particularly, I resolved to bring hither my 
magazine of powder, and all my spare arms, viz., two fowling- 
pieces, for I had three in all, and three muskets, for of them 
I had eight in all. So I kept at my castle only five, which 
stood ready-mounted, like pieces of cannon, on my outmost 
fence; and were ready also to take out upon any expedition. 

Upon this occasion of removing my ammunition, I took 
occasion to open the barrel of powder, which I took up out of 
the sea, and which had been wet; and I found that the water 
had penetrated about three or four inches into the powder on 
every side, which caking, and growing hard, had preserved the 
inside like a kernel in a shell; so that I had near sixty pounds 
of very good powder in the centre of the cask. And this was 
an agreeable discovery to me at that time; so I carried all 
away thither, never keeping above two or three pounds of 
powder with me in my castle, for fear of a surprise of any kind. 



I also carried thither all the lead I had left for bullets. 

I fancied myself now like one of the ancient giants, which 
were said to live in caves and holes in the rocks, where none 
could come at them ; for I persuaded myself, while I was here, 
if five hundred savages were to hunt me, they could never 
find me out; or, if they did, they would not venture to attack 
me here. 

The old goat, whom I found expiring, died in the mouth 
of the cave the next day after I made this discovery; and I 
found it much easier to dig a great hole there, and throw him in 
and cover him with earth, than to drag him out; so I interred 
him there, to prevent offense to my nose. 

I was now in my twenty-third year of residence in this 
island ; and was so naturalized to the place, and to the manner 
of living, that could I have but enjoyed the certainty that no 
savages would come to the place to disturb me, I could have 
been content to have capitulated for spending the rest of my 
time there, even to the last moment, till I laid me down and 
died, like the old goat in the cave. I had also arrived to some 
little diversions and amusements, which made the time pass 
more pleasantly with me a great deal than it did before. As, 
first, I had taught my Poll, as I noted before, to speak; and 
he did it so familiarly, and talked so articulately and plain, 
that it was very pleasant to me; and he lived with me no less 
than six and twenty years. How long he might live after- 
wards I know not, though I know they have a notion in the 
Brazils that they live a hundred years. Perhaps poor Poll may 
be alive there still, calling after poor Robin Crusoe to this 



day. I wish no Englishman the ill luck to come there and 
hear him; but if he did, he would certainly believe it was the 
devil. My dog was a very pleasant and loving companion 
to me for no less than sixteen years of my time, and then died 
of mere old age. As for my cats, they multiplied, as I have 
observed, to that degree, that I was obliged to shoot several 
of them at first to keep them from devouring me and all I 
had; but at length, when the two old ones I brought with me 
were gone, and after some time continually driving them from 
me, and letting them have no provision with me, they all ran 
wild into the woods, except two or three favorites, which I 
kept tame, and whose young, when they had any, I always 
drowned ; and these were part of my family. Besides these, I 
always kept two or three household kids about me, which I 
taught to feed out of my hand. And I had two more parrots, 
which talked pretty well, and would all call "Robin Crusoe," 
but none like my first; nor, indeed, did I take the pains with 
any of them that I had done with him. I had also several 
tame sea-fowls, whose names I know not, which I caught upon 
the shore, and cut their wings ; and the little stakes which I had 
planted before my castle wall being now grown up to a good 
thick grove, these fowls all lived among these low trees, and 
bred there, which was very agreeable to me; so that, as I said 
above, I began to be very well contented with the life I led, 
if it might but have been secured from the dread of the sav- 

But it was otherwise directed ; and it may not be amiss for 
all people who shall meet with my story, to make this just ob- 



servation from it, viz., how frequently, in the course of our 
lives, the evil which in itself we seek most to shun, and which, 
when we are fallen into it, is the most dreadful to us, is often- 
times the very means or door of our deliverance, by which alone 
we can be raised again from the affliction we are fallen into. 
I could give many examples of this in the course of my unac- 
countable life; but in nothing was it more particularly re- 
markable, than in the circumstances of my last years of solitary 
residence in this island. 



Another Visit of the Savages — Robinson Sees Them Dancing — He 
Perceives the Wreck of a Vessel 

IT was now the month of December, as I said above, in 
my twenty-third year; and this, being the southern solstice 
(for winter I cannot call it), was the particular time 
of my harvest, and required my being pretty much abroad in 
the fields; when, going out pretty early in the morning, even 
before it was thorough daylight, I was surprised with seeing 
a light of some fire upon the shore, at a distance from me of 
about two miles, towards the end of the island, where I had 
observed some savages had been, as before. But not on the 
other side ; but, to my great affliction, it was on my side of the 

I was indeed terribly surprised at the sight, and stopped 
short within my grove, not daring to go out, lest I might be 
surprised; and yet I had no more peace within, from the ap- 
prehensions I had that if these savages, in rambling over the 
island, should find my corn standing or cut, or any of my works 
and improvements, they would immediately conclude that there 
were people in the place, and would then never give over till 
they had found me out. In this extremity I went back di- 
rectly to my castle, pulled up the ladder after me, and made 
all things without look as wild and natural as I could. 



Then I prepared myself within, putting myself in a posture 
of defense. I loaded all my cannon, as I called them, that is 
to sajr, my muskets, which were mounted upon my new forti- 
fication, and all my pistols, and resolved to defend myself to the 
last gasp; not forgetting seriously to commend myself to the 
Divine protection, and earnestly to pray to God to deliver me 
out of the hands of the barbarians. And in this posture I 
continued about two hours ; but began to be mighty impatient 
for intelligence abroad, for I had no spies to send out. 

After sitting a while longer, and musing what I should 
do in this case, I was not able to bear sitting in ignorance any 
longer; so setting up my ladder to the side of the hill where 
there was a flat place, as I observed before, and then pulling 
the ladder up after me, I set it up again, and mounted to 
the top of the hill ; and pulling out my perspective-glass, which 
I had taken on purpose, I laid me down flat on my belly on 
the ground, and began to look for the place. I presently found 
there was no less than nine naked savages sitting round a small 
fire they had made, not to warm them, for they had no need 
of that, the weather being extreme hot, but, as I supposed, to 
dress some of their barbarous diet of human flesh which they 
had brought with them, whether alive or dead, I could not 

They had two canoes with them, which they had hauled up 
upon the shore; and as it was then tide of ebb, they seemed 
to me to wait for the return of the flood to go away again. It 
is not easy to imagine what confusion this sight put me into, 
especially seeing them come on my side the island, and so near 



me too. But when I observed their coming must be always 
with the current of the ebb, I began afterwards to be more 
sedate in my mind, being satisfied that I might go abroad 
with safety all the time of the tide of flood, if they were not 
on shore before; and having made this observation, I went 
abroad about my harvest-work with the more composure. 

As I expected, so it proved; for as soon as the tide made to 
the westward, I saw them all take boat, and row (or paddle, as 
we call it) all away. I should have observed, that for an hour 
and more before they went off, they went to dancing; and I 
could easily discern their postures and gestures by my glasses. 
I could not perceive, by my nicest observation, but that they 
were stark naked, and had not the least covering upon them; 
but whether they were men or women, that I could not dis- 

As soon as I saw them shipped and gone, I took two guns 
upon my shoulders, and two pistols at my girdle, and my great 
sword by my side, without a scabbard, and with all the speed 
I was able to make I went away to the hill where I had dis- 
covered the first appearance of all. And as soon as I got 
thither, which was not less than two hours (for I could not go 
apace, being so laden with arms as I was), I perceived there 
had been three canoes more of savages on that place ; and look- 
ing out farther, I saw they were all at sea together, making 
over for the main. 

This was a dreadful sight to me, especially when, going 
down to the shore, I could see the marks of horror which the 
dismal work they had been about had left behind it, viz., the 


© C. B C. 

" I laid me down flat on my belly on the ground, and began to look for the place " 


blood, the bones, and part of the flesh of human bodies, eaten 
and devoured by those wretches with merriment and sport, 
I was so filled with indignation at the sight, that I began now 
to premeditate the destruction of the next that I saw there, 
let them be who or how many soever. 

It seemed evident to me that the visits which they thus made 
to this island were not very frequent, for it was above fifteen 
months before any more of them came on shore there again: 
that is to say, I neither saw them, nor any footsteps nor signals 
of them, in all that time; for, as to the rainy seasons, then they 
are sure not to come abroad, at least not so far. Yet all 
this while I lived uncomfortably, by reason of the constant ap- 
prehensions I was in of their coming upon me by surprise; 
from whence I observe, that the expectation of evil is more 
bitter than the suffering, especially if there is no room to shake 
off that expectation, or those apprehensions. 

During all this time I was in a murdering humor, and 
took up most of my hours, which should have been better em- 
ployed, in contriving how to circumvent and fall upon them the 
very next time I should see them; especially if they should 
be divided, as they were the last time, into two parties. Nor 
did I consider at all that if I killed one party, suppose ten or 
a dozen, I was still the next day, or week, or month, to kill 
another, and so another, even ad infinitum, till I should be at 
length no less a murderer than they were in being man-eaters, 
and perhaps much more so. 

I spent my days now in great perplexity and anxiety of 
mind, expecting that I should, one day or other, fall into the 



hands of these merciless creatures; and if I did at any time 
venture abroad, it was not without looking round me with the 
greatest care and caution imaginable. And now I found, to 
my great comfort, how happy it was that I provided for a tame 
flock or herd of goats; for I durst not, upon any account, fire 
my gun, especially near that side of the island where they 
usually came, lest I should alarm the savages. And if they 
had fled from me now, I was sure to have them come back 
again, with perhaps two or three hundred canoes with them, 
in a few da3^s, and then I knew what to expect. 

However, I wore out a year and three months more before 
I ever saw any more of the savages, and then I found them 
again, as I shall soon observe. It is true they might have been 
there once or twice, but either they made no stay, or at least 
I did not hear them; but in the month of May, as near as I 
could calculate, and in my four and twentieth year, I had a 
very strange encounter with them; of which in its place. 

The perturbation of my mind, during this fifteen or six- 
teen months' interval, was very great. I slept unquiet, 
dreamed always frightful dreams, and often started out of my 
sleep in the night. In the day great troubles overwhelmed 
my mind, and in the night I dreamed often of killing the sav- 
ages, and of the reasons why I might justify the doing of it. 
But, to waive all this for a while, it was in the middle of May, 
on the sixteenth day, I think, as well as my poor wooden 
calendar would reckon, for I marked all upon the post still: 
I say, it was the sixteenth of May that it blew a very great 
storm of wind all day, with a great deal of lightning and thun- 



der, and a very foul night it was after it. I know not what was 
the particular occasion of it, but as I was reading in the Bible, 
and taken up with very serious thoughts about my present con- 
dition, I was surprised with a noise of a gun, as I thought, fired 
at sea. 

This was, to be sure, a surprise of a quite different nature 
from any I had met with before; for the notions this put into 
my thoughts were quite of another kind. I started up in the 
greatest haste imaginable, and, in a trice, clapped my ladder 
to the middle place of the rock, and pulled it after me; and 
mounting it the second time, got to the top of the hill the very 
moment that flash of fire bid me listen for a second gun, which 
accordingly, in about half a minute, I heard ; and, by the sound, 
knew that it was from that part of the sea where I was driven 
down the current in my boat. 

I immediately considered that this must be some ship in 
distress, and that they had some comrade, or some other ship 
in company, and fired these guns for signals of distress, and 
to obtain help. I had this presence of mind, at that minute, as 
to think that though I could not help them, it may be they 
might help me ; so I brought together all the dry wood I could 
get at hand, and, making a good handsome pile, I set it on 
fire upon the hill. The wood was dry, and blazed freely ; and 
though the wind blew very hard, yet it burnt fairly out; so 
that I was certain, if there was any such thing as a ship, they 
must needs see it, and no doubt they did; for as soon as ever 
my fire blazed up I heard another gun, and after that several 
others, all from the same quarter. I plied my fire all night long 



till day broke ; and when it was broad day, and the air cleared 
up, I saw something at a great distance at sea, full east of the 
island, whether a sail or a hull I could not distinguish, no, not 
with my glasses, the distance was so great, and the weather still 
something hazy also ; at least it was so out at sea. 

I looked frequently at it all that day, and soon perceived 
that it did not move; so I presently concluded that it was a 
ship at an anchor. And being eager, you may be sure, to be 
satisfied, I took my gun in my hand and ran toward the south 
side of the island, to the rocks where I had formerly been car- 
ried away with the current ; and getting up there, the weather 
by this time being perfectly clear, I could plainly see, to my 
great sorrow, the wreck of a ship, cast away in the night upon 
those concealed rocks which I found when I was out in my 
boat; and which rocks, as they checked the violence of the 
stream, and made a kind of counter-stream or eddy, were the 
occasion of my recovering from the most desperate, hopeless 
condition that ever I had been in in all my life. 

Thus, what is one man's safety is another man's destruc- 
tion; for it seems these men, whoever they were, being out of 
their knowledge, and the rocks being wholly under water, had 
been driven upon them in the night, the wind blowing hard at 
E. and E.N.E. Had they seen the island, as I must neces- 
sarily suppose they did not, they must, as I thought, have 
endeavored to have saved themselves on shore by the help of 
their boat; but their firing of guns for help, especially when 
they saw, as I imagined, my fire, filled me with many thoughts. 
First, I imagined that upon seeing my light, they might have 



put themselves into their boat, and have endeavored to make 
the shore; but that the sea going very high, they might have 
been cast away. Other times I imagined that they might have 
lost their boat before, as might be the case many ways ; as, par- 
ticularly, by the breaking of the sea upon their ship, which 
many times obliges men to stave, or take in pieces their boat, 
and sometimes to throw it overboard with their own hands. 

Other times I imagined they had some other ship or ships in 
company, who, upon the signals of distress they had made, had 
taken them up and carried them off. Other times I fancied 
they were all gone off to sea in their boat, and being hurried 
away by the current that I had been formerly in, were car- 
ried out into the great ocean, where there was nothing but mis- 
ery and perishing; and that, perhaps, they might by this time 
think of starving, and of being in a condition to eat one an- 

As all these were but conjectures at best, so, in the condi- 
tion I was in, I could do no more than look on upon the misery 
of the poor men, and pity them ; which had still this good effect 
on my side, that it gave me more and more cause to give thanks 
to God, who had so happily and comfortably provided for me 
in my desolate condition; and that of two ships' companies who 
were now cast away upon this part of the world, not one life 
should be spared but mine. I learned here again to observe, 
that it is very rare that the providence of God casts us into 
any condition of life so low, or any misery so great, but we 
may see something or other to be thankful for, and may see 
others in worse circumstances than our own. 



Such certainly was the case of these men, of whom I could 
not so much as see room to suppose any of them were saved. 
Nothing could make it rational so much as to wish or expect 
that they did not all perish there, except the possibility only of 
their being taken up by another ship in company; and this was 
but mere possibility indeed, for I saw not the least sign or ap- 
pearance of any such thing. 

I cannot explain, by any possible energy of words, what a 
strange longing or hankering of desires I felt in my soul upon 
this sight, breaking out sometimes thus: "Oh that there had 
been but one or two, nay, or but one soul, saved out of this 
ship, to have escaped to me, that I might but have had one 
companion, one fellow-creature, to have spoken to me, and to 
have conversed with!" In all the time of my solitary life, I 
never felt so earnest, so strong a desire after the society of my 
fellow-creatures, or so deep a regret at the want of it. 



He Visits the Wreck and Obtains many Stores from it — Again Thinks 
of Quitting the Island — Has a Remarkable Dream 

THERE are some secret moving springs in the affections 
which, when they are set agoing by some object in 
view, or be it some object, though not in view, yet 
rendered present to the mind by the power of imagination, that 
motion carries out the soul by its impetuosity to such violent, 
eager embracings of the object, that the absence of it is in- 

Such were these earnest wishings that but one man had been 
saved! "Oh that it had been but one!" I believe I repeated 
the words a thousand times ; and the desires were so moved by 
it, that when I spoke the words my hands would clinch together, 
and my fingers press the palms of my hands, that if I had had 
any soft thing in my hand, it would have crushed it involun- 
tarily; and my teeth in my head would strike together, and set 
against one another so strong, that for some time I could not 
part them again. 

Let the naturalists explain these things, and the reason and 
manner of them. All I can say to them is to describe the fact, 
which was even surprising to me when I found it, though I 
knew not from what it should proceed. It was doubtless the 
effect of ardent wishes, and of strong ideas formed in my mind, 



realising the comfort which the conversation of one of my 
fellow- Christians would have been to me. 

But it was not to be. Either their fate or mine, or both, 
forbid it; for, till the last year of my being on this island, I 
never knew whether any were saved out of that ship or no; 
and had only the affliction, some days after, to see the corpse of 
a drowned boy come on shore at the end of the island which was 
next the shipwreck. He had on no clothes but a seaman's 
waistcoat, a pair of open-kneed linen drawers, and a blue linen 
shirt; but nothing to direct me so much as to guess what na- 
tion he was of. He had nothing in his pocket but two pieces 
of eight and a tobacco-pipe. The last was to me of ten times 
more value than the first. 

It was now calm, and I had a great mind to venture out 
in my boat to this wreck, not doubting but I might find some- 
thing on board that might be useful to me. But that did not 
altogether press me so much as the possibility that there might 
be yet some living creature on board, whose life I might not 
only save, but might, by saving that life, comfort my own to 
the last degree. And this thought clung so to my heart, that I 
could not be quiet night nor day, but I must venture out in 
my boat on board this wreck ; and committing the rest to God's 
providence, I thought, the impression was so strong upon my 
mind that it could not be resisted, that it must come from some 
invisible direction, and that I should be wanting to myself if I 
did not go. 

Under the power of this impression, I hastened back to 
my castle, prepared everything for my voyage, took a quantity 



of bread, a great pot for fresh water, a compass to steer by, 
a bottle of rum (for I had still a great deal of that left), a 
basket full of raisins. And thus, loading myself with every- 
thing necessary, I went down to my boat, got the water out of 
her, and got her afloat, loaded all my cargo in her, and then 
went home again for more. My second cargo was a great bag 
full of rice, the umbrella to set up over my head for shade, an- 
other large pot full of fresh water, and about two dozen of 
my small loaves, or barley-cakes, more than before, with a 
bottle of goat's milk and a cheese; all of which, with great 
labor and sweat, I brought to my boat. And praying to 
God to direct my voyage, I put out ; and rowing, or paddling, 
the canoe along the shore, I came at last to the utmost point of 
the island on that side, viz., N.E. And now I was to launch 
out into the ocean, and either to venture or not to venture. 
I looked on the rapid currents which ran constantly on both 
sides of the island at a distance, and which were very terrible 
to me, from the remembrance of the hazard I had been in be- 
fore, and my heart began to fail me; for I foresaw that if I 
was driven into either of those currents, I should be carried a 
vast way out to sea, and perhaps out of my reach, or sight of 
the island again; and that then, as my boat was but small, if 
any little gale of wind should rise, I should be inevitably lost. 

These thoughts so oppressed my mind, that I began to 
give over my enterprise; and having hauled my boat into a 
little creek on the shore, I stepped out, and sat me down upon 
a little rising bit of ground, very pensive and anxious, between 
fear and desire, about my voyage; when, as I was musing, I 



could perceive that the tide was turned, and the flood come on ; 
upon which my going was for so many hours impracticable. 
Upon this, presently it occurred to me that I should go up 
to the highest piece of ground I could rind and observe, if I 
could, how the sets of the tide, or currents, lay when the flood 
came in, that I might judge whether, if I was driven one way 
out, I might not expect to be driven another way home, with 
the same rapidness of the currents. This thought was no 
sooner in my head but I cast my eye upon a little hill, which 
sufficiently overlooked the sea both ways, and from whence I 
had a clear view of the currents, or sets of the tide, and which 
way I was to guide myself in my return. Here I found, that 
as the current of the ebb set out close by the south point of the 
island, so the current of the flood set in close by the shore of the 
north side; and that I had nothing to do but to keep to the 
north of the island in my return, and I should do well enough. 

Encouraged with this observation, I resolved the next morn- 
ing to set out with the first of the tide, and reposing myself for 
the night in the canoe, under the great watch-coat I mention, 
I launched out. I made first a little out to sea, full north, 
till I began to feel the benefit of the current which set east- 
ward, and which carried me at a great rate ; and yet did not so 
hurry me as the southern side current had done before, and so as 
to take from me all government of the boat; but having a 
strong steerage with my paddle, I went at a great rate directly 
for the wreck, and in less than two hours I came up to it. 

It was a dismal sight to look at. The ship, which, by its 
building, was Spanish, stuck fast, jammed in between two 



rocks. All the stern and quarter of her was beaten to pieces 
with the sea; and as her forecastle, which stuck in the rocks, 
had run on with great violence, her mainmast and foremast 
were brought by the board ; that is to say, broken short off ; but 
her bowsprit was sound, and the head and bow appeared firm. 
When I came close to her a dog appeared upon her, who, 
seeing me coming, yelped and cried; and as soon as I called 
him, jumped into the sea to come to me, and I took him into 
the boat, but found him almost dead for hunger and thirst. I 
gave him a cake of my bread, and he ate it like a ravenous wolf 
that had been starving a fortnight in the snow. I then gave 
the poor creature some fresh water, with which, if I would 
have let him, he would have burst himself. 

After this I went on board; but the first sight I met with 
was two men drowned in the cook-room, or forecastle of the 
ship, with their arms fast about one another. I concluded, as 
is indeed probable, that when the ship struck, it being in a 
storm, the sea broke so high, and so continually over her, that 
the men were not able to bear it, and were strangled with the 
constant rushing in of the water, as much as if they had been 
under water. Besides the dog, there was nothing left in the 
ship that had life; nor any goods that I could see, but what 
were spoiled by the water. There were some casks of liquor, 
whether wine or brandy I knew not, which lay lower in the hold, 
and which, the water being ebbed out, I could see; but they 
were too big to meddle with. I saw several chests which I 
believed belonged to some of the seamen ; and I got two of them 
into the boat, without examining what was in them. 



Had the stern of the ship been fixed, and the forepart 
broken off, I am persuaded I might have made a good voy- 
age; for by what I found in these two chests, I had room to 
suppose the ship had a great deal of wealth on board ; and if I 
may guess by the course she steered, she must have been bound 
from the Buenos Ayres, or the Rio de la Plata, in the south 
part of America, beyond the Brazils, to Havana, in the Gulf 
of Mexico, and so perhaps to Spain. She had, no doubt, a 
great treasure in her, but of no use, at that time, to anybody ; 
and what became of the rest of her people, I then knew not. 

I found, besides these chests, a little cask full of liquor, 
of about twenty gallons, which I got into my boat with much 
difficulty. There were several muskets in a cabin, and a great 
powder-horn, with about four pounds of powder in it. As 
for the muskets, I had no occasion for them, so I left them, but 
took the powder-horn. I took a fire-shovel and tongs, which 
I wanted extremely; as also two little brass kettles, a copper 
pot to make chocolate, and a gridiron. And with this cargo, 
and the dog, I came away, the tide beginning to make home 
again; and the same evening, about an hour within night, I 
reached the island again, weary and fatigued to the last degree. 

I reposed that night in the boat; and in the morning I re- 
solved to harbor what I had gotten in my new cave, not to 
carry it home to my castle. After refreshing myself, I got 
all my cargo on shore, and began to examine the particulars. 
The cask of liquor I found to be a kind of rum, but not such 
as we had at the Brazils, and, in a word, not at all good. But 
when I came to open the chests, I found several things of great 



use to me. For example, I found in one a fine case of bottles., 
of an extraordinary kind, and filled with cordial waters, fine, 
and very good; the bottles held about three pints each, and 
were tipped with silver. I found two pots of very good suc- 
cades, or sweetmeats, so fastened also on top, that the salt 
water had not hurt them ; and two more of the same, which the 
water had spoiled. I found some very good shirts, which 
were very welcome to me; and about a dozen and half of 
linen white handkerchiefs and colored neck-cloths. The 
former were also very welcome, being exceeding refreshing to 
wipe my face on a hot day. Besides this, when I came to the 
till in the chest, I found there three great bags of pieces of 
eight, which held out about eleven hundred pieces in all; and 
in one of them, wrapped up in a paper, six doubloons of gold, 
and some small bars or wedges of gold. I suppose they might 
all weigh near a pound. 

The other chest I found had some clothes in it, but of little 
value; but by the circumstances, it must have belonged to the 
gunner's mate; though there was no powder in it, but about 
two pounds of fine glazed powder, in three small flasks, kept, 
I suppose, for charging their fowling-pieces on occasion. 
Upon the whole, I got very little by this voyage that was of 
any use to me ; for as to the money, I had no manner of occa- 
sion for it ; 'twas to me as the dirt under my feet ; and I would 
have given it all for three or four pair of English shoes and 
stockings, which were things I greatly wanted, but had not had 
on my feet now for many years. I had indeed gotten two pair 
of shoes now, which I took off of the feet of the two drowned 



men whom I saw in the wreck, and I found two pair more in 
one of the chests which were very welcome to me ; but they were 
not like our English shoes, either for ease or service, being 
rather what we call pumps than shoes. I found in this sea- 
man's chest about fifty pieces of eight in royals, but no gold. I 
suppose this belonged to a poorer man than the other, which 
seemed to belong to some officer. 

Well, however, I lugged this money home to my cave, and 
laid it up, as I had done that before which I brought from 
our own ship; but it was great pity, as I said, that the other 
part of this ship had not come to my share, for I am satisfied 
I might have loaded my canoe several times over with money, 
which, if I had ever escaped to England, would have lain here 
safe enough till I might have come again and fetched it. 

Having now brought all my things on shore, and secured 
them, I went back to my boat, and rowed or paddled her along 
the shore to her old harbor, where I laid her up, and made the 
best of my way to my old habitation, where I found every- 
thing safe and quiet. So I began to repose myself, live after 
my old fashion, and take care of my family affairs ; and, for a 
while, I lived easy enough, only that I was more vigilant than 
I used to be, looked out oftener, and did not go abroad so much; 
and if at any time I did stir with any freedom, it was always to 
the east part of the island, where I was pretty well satisfied 
the savages never came and where I could go without so many 
precautions, and such a load of arms and ammunition as I al- 
ways carried with me if I went the other way. 

I lived in this condition near two years more; but my un- 



lucky head, that was always to let me know it was born to make 
my body miserable, was all this two years filled with projects 
and designs, how, if it were possible, I might get away from 
this island; for sometimes I was for making another voyage 
to the wreck, though my reason told me that there was noth- 
ing left there worth the hazard of my voyage ; sometimes for a 
ramble one way, sometimes another; and I believe verily, if 1 
had had the boat that I went from Sallee in, I should have ven- 
tured to sea, bound anywhere, I knew not whither. 

I have been, in all my circumstances, a memento to those 
who are touched with the general plague of mankind, whence, 
for aught I know one-half of their miseries flow; I mean, that 
of not being satisfied with the station wherein God and Nature 
has placed them ; for now to look back upon my primitive con- 
dition, and the excellent advice of my father, the opposition 
to which was, as I may call it, my original sin, my subsequent 
mistakes of the same kind had been the means of my coming 
into this miserable condition; for had that Providence, which 
so happily had seated me at the Brazils as a planter, blessed 
me with confined desires, and I could have been contented 
to have gone on gradually, I might have been, by this time, I 
mean in the time of my being in this island, one of the most 
considerable planters in the Brazils ; nay, I am persuaded that 
by the improvements I had made in that little time I lived 
there, and the increase I should probably have made if I had 
stayed, I might have been worth an hundred thousand moidores. 
And what business had I to leave a settled fortune, a well- 
stocked plantation, improving and increasing, to turn super- 



cargo to Guinea to fetch negroes, when patience and time would 
have so increased our stock at home, that we could have bought 
them at our own door from those whose business it was to 
fetch them; and though it had cost us something more, yet the 
difference of that price was by no means worth saving at so 
great a hazard. 

But as this is ordinarily the fate of young heads, so re- 
flection upon the folly of it is as ordinarily the exercise of more 
years, or of the dear-bought experience of time; and so it was 
with me now. And yet, so deep had the mistake taken root 
in my temper, that I could not satisfy myself in my station, but 
was continually poring upon the means and possibility of my 
escape from this place. And that I may, with the greater 
pleasure to the reader, bring on the remaining part of my 
story, it may not be improper to give some account of my first 
conceptions on the subject of this foolish scheme for my es- 
cape, and how, and upon what foundation, I acted. 

I am now to be supposed retired into my castle, after my 
late voyage to the wreck, my frigate laid up and secured under 
water, as usual, and my condition restored to what it was be- 
fore. I had more wealth, indeed, than I had before, but was 
not at all the richer ; for I had no more use for it than the In- 
dians of Peru had before the Spaniards came there. 

It was one of the nights in the rainy season in March, the 
four and twentieth year of my first setting foot in this island 
of solitariness. I was lying in my bed, or hammock, awake, 
very well in health, had no pain, no distemper, no uneasiness 
of body, no, nor any uneasiness of mind, more than ordinary, 



but could by no means close my eyes, that is, so as to sleep; 
no, not a wink all night long, otherwise than as follows. 

It is as impossible, as needless, to set down the innumer- 
able crowd of thoughts that whirled through that great thor- 
oughfare of the brain, the memory, in this night's time. I ran 
over the whole history of my life in miniature, or by abridg- 
ment, as I may call it, to my coming to this island, and also of 
the part of my life since I came to this island. In my reflec- 
tions upon the state of my case since I*came on shore on this 
island, I was comparing the happy posture of my affairs in the 
first years of my habitation here compared to the life of anxiety, 
fear, and care which I had lived ever since I had seen the print 
of a foot in the sand ; not that I did not believe the savages had 
frequented the island even all the while, and might have been 
several hundreds of them at times on shore there; but I had 
never known it, and was incapable of any apprehensions about 
it. My satisfaction was perfect, though my danger was the 
same; and I was as happy in not knowing my danger, as if I 
had never really been exposed to it. This furnished my 
thoughts with many very profitable reflections, and particularly 
this one: how infinitely good that Providence is which has pro- 
vided, in its government of mankind, such narrow bounds to 
his sight and knowledge of things ; and though he walks in the 
midst of so many thousand dangers, the sight of which, if dis- 
covered to him, would distract his mind and sink his spirits, he is 
kept serene and calm, by having the events of things hid from 
his eyes, and knowing nothing of the dangers which surround 



After these thoughts had for some time entertained me, 
I came to reflect seriously upon the real danger I had been 
in for so many years in this very island, and how I had walked 
about in the greatest security 7 , and with all possible tranquillity, 
even when perhaps nothing but a brow of a hill, a great tree, 
or the casual approach of night had been between me and the 
worst kind of destruction, viz., that of falling into the hands of 
cannibals and savages, who would have seized on me with the 
same view as I did of a goat or a turtle, and have thought it 
no more a crime to kill and devour me, than I did of a pigeon or 
a curlew. I would unjustly slander myself if I should say I 
was not sincerely thankful to my great Preserver, to whose 
singular protection I acknowledged, with great humility, that 
all these unknown deliverances were due, and without which I 
must inevitably have fallen into their merciless hands. 

When these thoughts were over, my head was for some 
time taken up in considering the nature of these wretched crea- 
tures, I mean the savages, and how it came to pass in the world 
that the wise Governor of all things should give up any of His 
creatures to such inhumanity ; nay, to something so much below 
even brutality itself, as to devour its own kind. But as this 
ended in some (at that time fruitless) speculations, it occurred 
to me to inquire what part of the world these wretches lived 
in? how far off the coast was from whence they came? what 
they ventured over so far from home for? what kind of boats 
they had? and why I might not order myself and my business 
so, that I might be as able to go over thither, as they were to 
come to me. 



I never so much as troubled myself to consider what I 
should do with myself when I came thither; what would be- 
come of me, if I fell into the hands of the savages; or how I 
should escape from them, if they attempted me ; no, nor so much 
as how it was possible for me to reach the coast, and not be 
attempted by some or other of them, without any possibility of 
delivering myself; and if I should not fall into their hands, 
what I should do for provision; or whither I should bend my 
course. None of these thoughts, I say, so much as came in 
my way; but my mind was wholly bent upon the notion of my 
passing over in my boat to the mainland. I looked back upon 
my present condition as the most miserable that could possibly 
be; that I was not able to throw myself into anything, but 
death, that could be called worse; that if I reached the shore 
of the main, I might perhaps meet with relief, or I might 
coast along, as I did on the shore of Africa, till I came to 
some inhabited country, and where I might find some relief; 
and after all, perhaps I might fall in with some Christian ship 
that might take me in; and if the worse came to the worst, I 
could but die, which would put an end to all these miseries at 
once. Pray, note, all this was the fruit of a disturbed mind, 
an impatient temper, made as it were desperate by the long 
continuance of my troubles, and the disappointments I had met 
in the wreck I had been on board of, and where I had been so 
near the obtaining what I so earnestly longed for, viz., some- 
body to speak to, and to learn some knowledge from of the place 
where I was, and of the probable means of my deliverance. I 
say, I was agitated wholly by these thoughts. All my calm 



of mind, in my resignation to Providence, and waiting the 
issue of the dispositions of Heaven, seemed to be suspended; 
and I had, as it were, no power to turn my thoughts to anything 
but to the project of a voyage to the main, which came upon 
me with such force, and such an impetuosity of desire, that it 
was not to be resisted. 

When this had agitated my thoughts for two hours, or 
more, with such violence that it set my very blood into a fer- 
ment, and my pulse beat as high as if I had been in a fever, 
merely with the extraordinary fervor of my mind about it, 
Nature, as if I had been fatigued and exhausted with the 
very thought of it, threw me into a sound sleep. One would 
have thought I should have dreamed of it, but I did not, nor 
of anything relating to it; but I dreamed that as I was going 
out in the morning, as usual, from my castle, I saw upon the 
shore two canoes and eleven savages coming to land, and that 
they brought with them another savage, whom they were go- 
ing to kill in order to eat him; when, on a sudden, the savage 
that they were going to kill jumped away, and ran for his life. 
And I thought, in my sleep, that he came running into my little 
thick grove before my fortification to hide himself; and that 
I, seeing him alone, and not perceiving that the others sought 
him that way, showed myself to him, and smiling upon him, 
encouraged him ; that he kneeled down to me, seeming to pray 
me to assist him; upon which I showed my ladder, made him 
go up, and carried him into my cave, and he became my servant; 
and that as soon as I had gotten this man, I said to myself, 
"Now I may certainly venture to the mainland; for this fellow 



will serve me as a pilot, and will tell me what to do, and whither 
to go for provisions, and whither not to go for fear of being 
devoured; what places to venture into, and what to escape." 
I waked with this thought, and was under such inexpressible 
impressions of joy at the prospect of my escape in my dream, 
that the disappointments which I felt upon coming to myself 
and finding it was no more than a dream were equally extrava- 
gant the other way, and threw me into a very great dejection 
of spirit. 

Upon this, however, I made this conclusion; that my only 
way to go about an attempt for an escape was, if possible, to 
get a savage into my possession; and, if possible, it should be 
one of their prisoners whom they had condemned to be eaten, 
and should bring thither to kill. But these thoughts still were 
attended with this difficulty, that it was impossible to effect this 
without attacking a whole caravan of them, and killing them all ; 
and this was not only a very desperate attempt, and might mis- 
carry, but, on the other hand, I had greatly scrupled the law- 
fulness of it to me ; and my heart trembled at the thoughts of 
shedding so much blood, though it was for my deliverance. I 
need not repeat the arguments which occurred to me against 
this, they being the same mentioned before. But though I 
had other reasons to offer now, viz., that those men were 
enemies to my life, and would devour me if they could; that it 
was self-preservation, in the highest degree, to deliver myself 
from this death of a life, and was acting in my own defence 
as much as if they were actually assaulting me, and the like; 
I say, though these things argued for it, yet the thoughts of 



shedding human blood for my deliverance were very terrible 
to me, and such as I could by no means reconcile myself to a 
great while. 

However, at last, after many secret disputes with myself, 
and after great perplexities about it, for all these arguments, 
one way and another, struggled in nry head a long time, the 
eager prevailing desire of deliverance at length mastered all 
the rest, and I resolved, if possible, to get one of those savages 
into my hands, cost what it would. My next thing then was 
to contrive how to do it, and this indeed was very difficult to 
resolve on. But as I could pitch upon no probable means for 
it, so I resolved to put myself upon the watch, to see them 
when they came on shore, and leave the rest to the event, taking 
such measures as the opportunity should present, let be what 
would be. 

With these resolutions in my thoughts, I set myself upon 
the scout as often as possible, and indeed so often, till I was 
heartily tired of it; for it was above a year and half that I 
waited; and for great part of that time went out to the west 
end, and to the south-west corner of the island, almost every 
day, to see for canoes, but none appeared. This was very dis- 
couraging, and began to trouble me much; though I cannot 
say that it did in this case, as it had done some time before 
that, viz., wear off the edge of my desire to the thing. But the 
longer it seemed to be delayed, the more eager I was for it. 
In a word, I was not at first so careful to shun the sight of 
these savages, and avoid being seen by them, as I was now 
eager to be upon them. 



Besides, I fancied myself able to manage one, nay, two or 
three savages, if I had them, so as to make them entirely slaves 
to me, to do whatever I should direct them, and to prevent 
their being able at any time to do me any hurt. It was a great 
while that I pleased myself with this affair; but nothing still 
presented. All my fancies and schemes came to nothing, for 
no savages came near me for a great while. 



Robinson Rescues One of Their Captives from the Savages, Whom 
He Names Friday, and Makes His Servant 

ABOUT a year and half after I had entertained these 
notions, and by long musing had, as it were, resolved 
them all into nothing, for want of an occasion to put 
them in execution, I was surprised, one morning early, with 
seeing no less than five canoes all on shore together on my 
side the island, and the people who belonged to them all landed, 
and out of my sight. The number of them broke all my 
measures; for seeing so many, and knowing that they always 
came four, or six, or sometimes more, in a boat, I could not 
tell what to think of it, or how to take my measures to at- 
tack twenty or thirty men single-handed; so I lay still in my 
castle, perplexed and discomforted. However, I put myself 
into all the same postures for an attack that I had formerly 
provided, and was just ready for action if anything had pre- 
sented. Having waited a good while, listening to hear if they 
made any noise, at length, being very impatient, I set my guns 
at the foot of my ladder, and clambered up to the top of the 
hill, by my two stages, as usual; standing so, however, that 
my head did not appear above the hill, so that they could not 
perceive me by any means. Here I observed, by the help of 
my perspective-glass, that they were no less than thirty in 



number, that they had a fire kindled, that they had had meat 
dressed. How they had cooked it, that I knew not, or what 
it was; but they were all dancing, in I know not how many 
barbarous gestures and figures, their own way, round the fire. 

While I was thus looking on them, I perceived by my per- 
spective two miserable wretches dragged from the boats, where, 
it seems, they were laid by, and were now brought out for the 
slaughter. I perceived one of them immediately fell, being 
knocked down, I suppose, with a club or wooden sword, for 
that was their way, and two or three others were at work im- 
mediately, cutting him open for their cookery, while the other 
victim was left standing by himself, till they should be ready 
for him. In that very moment this poor wretch seeing him- 
self a little at liberty, Nature inspired him with hopes of life, 
and he started away from them, and ran with incredible swift- 
ness along the sands directly towards me, I mean towards 
that part of the coast where my habitation was. 

I was dreadfully frightened (that I must acknowledge) 
when I perceived him to run my way, and especially when, as 
I thought, I saw him pursued by the whole body; and now I 
expected that part of my dream was coming to pass, and that 
he would certainly take shelter in my grove; but I could not 
depend, by any means, upon my dream for the rest of it, viz., 
that the other savages would not pursue him thither, and find 
him there. However, I kept my station, and my spirits began 
to recover when I found that there was not above three men 
that followed him; and still more was I encouraged when I 
found that he outstripped them exceedingly in running, and 



gained ground of them ; so that if he could but hold it for half 
an hour, I saw easily he would fairly get away from them all. 

There was between them and my castle the creek, which 
I mentioned often at the first part of my story, when I landed 
my cargoes out of the ship; and this I saw plainly he must 
necessarily swim over, or the poor wretch would be taken 
there. But when the savage escaping came thither he made 
nothing of it, though the tide was then up; but plunging in, 
swam through in about thirty strokes or thereabouts, landed, 
and ran on with exceeding strength and swiftness. When 
the three persons came to the creek, I found that two of them 
could swim, but the third could not, and that, standing on the 
other side, he looked at the other, but went no farther, and 
soon after went softly back, which, as it happened, was very 
well for him in the main. 

I observed, that the two who swam were yet more than 
twice as long swimming over the creek as the fellow was that 
fled from them. It came now very warmly upon my thoughts, 
and indeed irresistibly, that now was my time to get me a 
servant, and perhaps a companion or assistant, and that I was 
called plainly by Providence to save this poor creature's life. 
I immediately ran down the ladders with all possible expedi- 
tion, fetched my two guns, for they were both but at the foot 
of the ladders, as I observed above, and getting up again, with 
the same haste, to the top of the hill, I crossed toward the sea, 
and having a very short cut, and all down hill, clapped my- 
self in the way between the pursuers and the pursued, hallooing 
aloud to him that fled, who, looking back, was at first perhaps 



as much frightened at me as at them ; and I beckoned with my 
hand to him to come back; and, in the meantime, I slowly ad- 
vanced towards the two that followed; then rushing at once 
upon the foremost, I knocked him down with the stock of my 
piece. I was loth to fire, because I would not have the rest 
hear; though, at that distance, it would not have been easily 
heard, and being out of sight of the smoke too, they would 
not have easily known what to make of it. Having knocked 
this fellow down, the other who pursued with him stopped, as 
if he had been frightened, and I advanced apace towards him; 
but as I came nearer, I perceived presently he had a bow and 
arrow, and was fitting it to shoot at me; so I was then necessi- 
tated to shoot at him first, which I did, and killed him at the 
first shot. 

The poor savage who fled, but had stopped, though he saw 
both his enemies fallen and killed, as he thought, yet was so 
frightened with the fire and noise of my piece, that he stood 
stock-still, and neither came forward nor went backward, 
though he seemed rather inclined to fly still, than to come on. 

I hallooed again to him, and made signs to come forward, 
which he easily understood, and came a little way, then stopped 
again, and then a little farther, and stopped again; and I 
could then perceive that he stood trembling, as if he had been 
taken prisoner, and had just been to be killed, as his two 
enemies were. I beckoned him again to come to me, and gave 
him all the signs of encouragement that I could think of; and 
he came nearer and nearer, kneeling down every ten or twelve 
steps, in token of acknowledgment for my saving his life. I 



smiled at him, and looked pleasantly, and beckoned to him to 
come still nearer. At length he came close to me, and then he 
kneeled down again, kissed the ground, and laid his head upon 
the ground, and taking me by the foot, set my foot upon his 
head. This, it seems, was in token of swearing to be my slave 
for ever. I took him up, and made much of him, and en- 
couraged him all I could. But there was more work to do yet; 
for I perceived the savage whom I knocked down was not 
killed, but stunned with the blow, and began to come to him- 
self; so I pointed to him, and showing him the savage, that 
he was not dead, upon this he spoke some words to me; and 
though I could not understand them, yet I thought they were 
pleasant to hear ; for they were the first sound of a man's voice 
that I had heard, my own excepted, for above twenty-five 
years. But there was no time for such reflections now. The 
savage who was knocked down recovered himself so far as to 
sit up upon the ground and I perceived that my savage began 
to be afraid; but when I saw that, I presented my other piece at 
the man, as if I would shoot him. Upon this my savage, for 
so I call him now, made a motion to me to lend him my sword, 
which hung naked in a belt by my side; so I did. He no 
sooner had it but he runs to his enemy, and, at one blow, cut off 
his head as cleverly, no executioner in Germany could have 
done it sooner or better; which I thought very strange for one 
who, I had reason to believe, never saw a sword in his life be- 
fore, except their own wooden swords. However, it seems, as 
I learned afterwards, they make their wooden swords so sharp, 
so heavy, and the wood is so hard, that they will cut off heads 


" — and then he kneeled down again, kissed the ground, and taking me by the foot, 
set my foot upon his h ead ' ' 


even with them, ay, and arms, and that at one blow too. When 
he had done this, he came laughing to me in sign of triumph, 
and brought me the sword again, and with abundance of ges- 
tures, which I did not understand, laid it down, with the head 
of the savage that he had killed, just before me. 

But that which astonished him most was to know how I 
had killed the other Indian so far off; so pointing to him, he 
made signs to me to let him go to him; so I bade him go, as 
well as I could. When he came to him, he stood like one 
amazed, looking at him, turned him first on one side, then on 
t'other, looked at the wound the bullet had made, which, it 
seems, was just in his breast, where it had made a hole, and 
no great quantity of blood had followed; but he had bled in- 
wardly, for he was quite dead. He took up his bow and 
arrows, and came back; so I turned to go away, and beckoned 
to him to follow me making signs to him that more might come 
after them. 

Upon this he signed to me that he should bury them with 
sand, that they might not be seen by the rest if they followed ; 
and so I made signs again to him to do so. He fell to work, 
and in an instant he had scraped a hole in the sand with his 
hands big enough to bury the first in, and then dragged him 
into it, and covered him, and did so also by the other. I believe 
he had buried them both in a quarter of an hour. Then calling 
him away, I carried him, not to my castle, but quite away to 
my cave, on the farther part of the island ; so I did not let my 
dream come to pass in that part, viz., that he came into my 
grove for shelter. 



Here I gave him bread and a bunch of raisins to eat, and 
a draught of water, which I found he was indeed in great dis- 
tress for, by his running; and having refreshed him, I made 
signs for him to go lie down and sleep, pointing to a place 
where I had laid a great parcel of rice-straw, and a blanket 
upon it, which I used to sleep upon myself sometimes; so the 
poor creature lay down, and went to sleep. 

He was a comely, handsome fellow, perfectly well made, 
with straight strong limbs, not too large, tall, and well-shaped, 
and, as I reckon, about twenty-six years of age. He had a 
very good countenance, not a fierce and surly aspect, but seemed 
to have something very manly in his face; and yet he had all 
the sweetness and softness of an European in his countenance 
too, especially when he smiled. His hair was long and black, 
not curled like wool; his forehead very high and large; and a 
great vivacity and sparkling sharpness in his eyes. The color 
of his skin was not quite black, but very tawny ; and yet not of 
an ugly, yellow, nauseous tawny, as the Brazilians and Virgin- 
ians, and other natives of America are, but of a bright kind 
of a dun olive color, that had in it something very agreeable, 
though not very easy to describe. His face was round and 
plump; his nose small, not flat like the negroes; a very good 
mouth, thin lips, and his fine teeth well set, and white as ivory. 

After he had slumbered, rather than slept, about half an 
hour, he waked again, and came out of the cave to me, for I 
had been milking my goats, which I had in the enclosure just 
by. When he espied me, he came running to me, laying him- 
self down again upon the ground, with all the possible signs 



of an humble, thankful disposition, making many antic ges- 
tures to show it. At last he lays his head flat upon the ground, 
close to my foot, and sets my other foot upon his head, as he 
had done before, and after this made all the signs to me of 
subjection, servitude, and submission imaginable, to let me 
know how he would serve me as long as he lived. I under- 
stood him in many things, and let him know I was very well 
pleased with him. In a little time I began to speak to him, 
and teach him to speak to me; and, first, I made him know his 
name should be Friday, which was the day I saved his life. 
I called him so for the memory of the time. I likewise taught 
him to say master, and then let him know that was to be my 
name. I likewise taught him to say Yes and No, and to know 
the meaning of them. I gave him some milk in an earthen pot, 
and let him see me drink it before him, and sop my bread in 
it; and I gave him a cake of bread to do the like, which he 
quickly complied with, and made signs that it was very good 
for him. 

I kept there with him all that night ; but as soon as it was 
day, I beckoned to him to come with me, and let him know I 
would give him some clothes; at which he seemed very glad, 
for he was stark naked. As we went by the place where he 
had buried the two men, he pointed exactly to the place, and 
showed me the marks that he had made to find them again, 
making signs to me that we should dig them up again, and eat 
them. At this I appeared very angry, expressed my abhor- 
rence of it, made as if I would vomit at the thoughts of it, 
and beckoned with my hand to him to come away ; which he did 



immediately, with great submission. I then led him up to the 
top of the hill, to see if his enemies were gone ; and pulling out 
my glass, I looked, and saw plainly the place where they had 
been, but no appearance of them or of their canoes ; so that it 
was plain that they were gone, and had left their two com- 
rades behind them, without any search after them. 

But I was not content with this discovery ; but having now 
more courage, and consequently more curiosity, I took my man 
Friday with me, giving him the sword in his hand, with the 
bow and arrows at his back, which I found he could use very 
dexterously, making him cany one gun for me, and I two for 
myself, and away we marched to the place where these creatures 
had been ; for I had a mind now to get some fuller intelligence 
of them. When I came to the place, my very blood ran chill 
in my veins, and my heart sunk within me, at the horror of 
the spectacle. Indeed, it was a dreadful sight, at least it was 
so to me, though Friday made nothing of it. The place was 
covered with human bones, the ground dyed with their blood, 
great pieces of flesh left here and there, half-eaten, mangled, 
and scorched; and, in short, all the tokens of the triumphant 
feast they had been making there, after a victory over their 
enemies. I saw three skulls, five hands, and the bones of 
three or four legs and feet, and abundance of other parts of 
the bodies; and Friday, by his signs, made me understand 
that they brought over four prisoners to feast upon ; that three 
of them were eaten up, and that he, pointing to himself, was 
the fourth; that there had been a great battle between them 
and their next king, whose subjects it seems he had been one 



of, and that they had taken a great number of prisoners; all 
of which were carried to several places by those that had 
taken them in the fight, in order to feast upon them, as was 
done here by these wretches upon those they brought hither. 

I caused Friday to gather all the skulls, bones, flesh, and 
whatever remained, and lay them together on a heap, and 
make a great fire upon it, and burn them all to ashes. I found 
Friday had still a hankering stomach after some of the flesh, 
and was still a cannibal in his nature ; but I discovered so much 
abhorrence at the very thoughts of it, and at the least appear- 
ance of it, that he durst not discover it; for I had, by some 
means, let him know that I would kill him if he offered it. 

When we had done this we came back to our castle, and 
there I fell to work for my man Friday; and, first of all, I 
gave him a pair of linen drawers, which I had out of the poor 
gunner's chest I mentioned, and which I found in the wreck; 
and which, with a little alteration, fitted him very well. Then 
I made him a jerkin of goat's skin, as well as my skill would 
allow, and I was now grown a tolerable good tailor; and I gave 
him a cap, which I had made of a hare-skin, very convenient 
and fashionable enough; and thus he was clothed for the pres- 
ent tolerably well, and was mighty well pleased to see himself 
almost as well clothed as his master. It is true he went awk- 
wardly in these things at first; wearing the drawers was very 
awkward to him, and the sleeves of the waistcoat galled his 
shoulders, and the inside of his arms; but a little easing them 
where he complained they hurt him, and using himself to 
them, at length he took to them very well. 



The next day after I came home to my hutch with him, 
I began to consider where I should lodge him. And that I 
might do well for him, and yet be perfectly easy myself, I 
made a little tent for him in the vacant place between my two 
fortifications, in the inside of the last and in the outside of 
the first; and as there was a door or entrance there into my 
cave, I made a formal framed door-case, and a door to it of 
boards, and set it up in the passage, a little within the entrance ; 
and causing the door to open on the inside, I barred it up in the 
night, taking in my ladders too; so that Friday could in no 
way come at me in the inside of my innermost wall without 
making so much noise in getting over, that it must needs waken 
me; for my first wall had now a complete roof over it of long 
poles, covering all my tent, and leaning up to the side of the 
hill, which was again laid cross with smaller sticks instead of 
laths, and then thatched over a great thickness with the rice- 
straw, which was strong, like reeds; and at the hole or place 
which was left to go in or out by the ladder, I had placed a 
kind of trap-door, which, if it had been attempted on the out- 
side, would not have opened at all, but would have fallen down, 
and made a great noise ; and as to weapons, I took them all into 
my side every night. 

But I needed none of all this precaution; for never man 
had a more faithful, loving, sincere servant than Friday was 
to me ; without passions, sullennes, or designs, perfectly obliged 
and engaged; his very affections were tied to me, like those of 
a child to a father; and I dare say he would have sacrificed 
his life for the saving mine, upon any occasion whatsoever. 



The many testimonies he gave me of this put it out of doubt, 
and soon convinced me that I needed to use no precautions as to 
my safety on his account. 

This frequently gave me occasion to observe, and that with 
wonder, that however it had pleased God, in His providence, 
and in the government of the works of His hands, to take from 
so great a part of the world of His creatures the best uses to 
which their faculties and the powers of their souls are adapted, 
yet that He has bestowed upon them the same powers, the same 
reason, the same affections, the same sentiments of kindness 
and obligation, the same passions and resentments of wrongs, 
the same sense of gratitude, sincerity, fidelity, and all the 
capacities of doing good, and receiving good, that He has given 
to us ; and that when He pleases to offer to them occasions of 
exerting these, they are as ready, nay, more ready, to apply 
them to the right uses for which they were bestowed than we 
are. And this made me very melancholy sometimes, in reflect- 
ing, as the several occasions presented, how mean a use we make 
of all these, even though we have these powers enlightened by 
the great lamp of instruction, the Spirit of God, and by the 
knowledge of His Word added to our understanding; and 
why it has pleased God to hide the like saving knowledge from 
so many millions of souls, who, if I might judge by this poor 
savage, would make a much better use of it than we did. 

From hence, I sometimes was led too far to invade the 
sovereignty of Providence, and as it were arraign the justice 
of so arbitrary a disposition of things, that should hide that 
light from some, and reveal it to others, and yet expect a like 



duty from both. But I shut it up, and checked my thoughts 
with this conclusion: first, that we did not know by what 
light and law these should be condemned ; but that as God was 
necessarily, and by the nature of His being, infinitely holy and 
just, so it could not be but that if these creatures were all sen- 
tenced to absence from Himself, it was on account of sinning 
against that light, which, as the Scripture says, was a law to 
themselves, and by such rules as their consciences would ac- 
knowledge to be just, though the foundation was not discov- 
ered to us ; and, second, that still, as we are all the clay in the 
hand of the potter, no vessel could say to Him, "Why hast 
Thou formed me thus?" 

But to return to my new companion. I was greatly de- 
lighted with him, and made it my business to teach him every- 
thing that was proper to make him useful, handy, and helpful; 
but especially to make him speak, and understand me when I 
spake. And he was the aptest scholar that ever was; and 
particularly was so merry, so constantly diligent, and so pleased 
when he could but understand me, or make me understand him, 
that it was very pleasant to me to talk to him. And now my 
life began to be so easy, that I began to say to myself, that 
«ould I but have been safe from more savages, I cared not if 
I was never to remove from the place while I lived. 



Robinson Instructs and Civilizes His Man Friday and Endeavors to 
Give Him an Idea of Christianity 

AFTER I had been two or three days returned to my 
castle, I thought that, in order to bring Friday off 
from his horrid way of feeding, and from the relish 
of a cannibal's stomach, I ought to let him taste other flesh; 
so I took him out with me one morning to the woods. I went, 
indeed, intending to kill a kid out of my own flock, and bring 
him home and dress it ; but as I was going, I saw a she-goat ly- 
ing down in the shade, and two young kids sitting by her. I 
caught hold of Friday. "Hold," says I, "stand still," and 
made signs to him not to stir. Immediately I presented my 
piece, shot and killed one of the kids. The poor creature, who 
had, at a distance indeed, seen me kill the savage his enemy, 
but did not know, or could imagine, how it was done, was 
sensibly surprised, trembled and shook, and looked so amazed, 
that I thought he would have sunk down. He did not see the 
kid I had shot at, or perceive I had killed it, but ripped up 
his waistcoat to feel if he was not wounded; and, as I found 
presently, thought I was resolved to kill him ; for he came and 
kneeled down to me, and embracing my knees, said a great 
many things I did not understand; but I could easily see 
that the meaning was to pray me not to kill him. 



I soon found a way to convince him that I would do him 
no harm ; and taking him up by the hand, laughed at him, and 
pointing to the kid which I had killed, beckoned to him to run 
and fetch it, which he did; and while he was wondering, and 
looking to see how the creature was killed, I loaded my gun 
again ; and by and by I saw a great fowl, like a hawk, sit upon 
a tree, within shot; so, to let Friday understand a little what 
I would do, I called him to me again, pointing at the fowl, 
which was indeed a parrot, though I thought it had been a 
hawk; I say, pointing to the parrot, and to my gun, and to 
the ground under the parrot, to let him see I would make it 
fall, I made him understand that I would shoot and kill that 
bird. Accordingly I fired, and bade him look, and immedi- 
ately he saw the parrot fall. He stood like one frightened 
again, notwithstanding all I had said to him; and I found he 
was the more amazed, because he did not see me put anything 
into the gun, but thought that there must be some wonderful 
fund of death and destruction in that thing, able to kill man, 
beast, bird, or anything near or far off; and the astonishment 
this created in him was such as could not wear off for a long 
time; and I believe, if I would have let him, he would have 
worshipped me and my gun. As for the gun itself, he would 
not so much as touch it for several days after; but would speak 
to it, and talk to it, as if it had answered him, when he was by 
himself; which, as I afterwards learned of him, was to desire it 
not to kill him. 

Well, after his astonishment was a little over at this, I 
pointed to him to run and fetch the bird I had shot, which he 



did, but stayed some time ; for the parrot, not being quite dead, 
fluttered a good way off from the place where she fell. How- 
ever, he found her, took her up, and brought her to me ; and as 
I had perceived his ignorance about the gun before, I took this 
advantage to charge the gun again, and not let him see me do it, 
that I might be ready for any other mark that might present. 
But nothing more offered at that time ; so I brought home the 
kid, and the same evening I took the skin off, and cut it out as 
well as I could ; and having a pot for that purpose, I boiled or 
stewed some of the flesh, and made some very good broth ; and 
after I had begun to eat some, I gave some to my man, who 
seemed very glad of it, and liked it very well; but that which 
was strangest to him, was to see me eat salt with it. He made 
a sign to me that the salt w T as not good to eat, and putting a 
little into his own mouth, he seemed to nauseate it, and would 
spit and sputter at it, washing his mouth with fresh water after 
it. On the other hand, I took some meat in my mouth without 
salt, and I pretended to spit and sputter for want of salt, as 
fast as he had done at the salt. But it would not do; he would 
never care for salt with his meat or in his broth ; at least, not a 
great while, and then but a very little. 

Having thus fed him with boiled meat and broth, I was re- 
solved to feast him the next day with roasting a piece of the 
kid. This I did by hanging it before the fire in a string, as I 
had seen many people do in England, setting two poles up, one 
on each side of the fire, and one cross on the top, and tying the 
string to the cross stick, letting the meat turn continually. 

This Friday admired very much. But when he came to taste 



the flesh, he took so many ways to tell me how well he liked it, 
that I could not but understand him ; and at last he told me he 
would never eat man's flesh any more, which I was very glad 
to hear. 

The next day I set him to work to beating some corn out, 
and sifting it in the manner I used to do, as I observed before ; 
and he soon understood how to do it as well as I, especially 
after he had seen what the meaning of it was, and that it was 
to make bread of; for after that I let him see me make my 
bread, and bake it too; and in a little time Friday was able to 
do all the work for me, as well as I could do it myself. 

I began now to consider that, having two mouths to feed 
instead of one, I must provide more ground for my harvest, 
and plant a larger quantity of corn than I used to do; so I 
marked out a larger piece of land, and began the fence in the 
same manner as before, in which Friday not only worked very 
willingly and very hard, but did it very cheerfully; and I told 
him what it was for ; that it was for corn to make more bread, 
because he was now with me, and that I might have enough for 
him and myself too. He appeared very sensible of that part, 
and let me know that he thought I had much more labor upon 
me on his account, than I had for myself; and that he would 
work the harder for me, if I would tell him what to do. 

This was the pleasantest year of all the life I led in this 
place. Friday began to talk pretty well, and understand the 
names of almost everything I had occasion to call for, and of 
every place I had to send him to, and talk a great deal to me ; 
so that, in short, I began now to have some use for my tongue 



again, which, indeed, I had very little occasion for before, that 
is to say, about speech. Besides the pleasure of talking to him, 
I had a singular satisfaction in the fellow himself. His simple, 
unfeigned honesty appeared to me more and more every day, 
and I began really to love the creature; and, on his side, I be- 
lieved he loved me more than it was possible for him ever to 
love anything before. 

I had a mind once to try if he had any hankering inclina- 
tion for his own country again; and having taught him Eng- 
lish so well that he could answer me almost any questions, I 
asked him whether the nation that he belonged to never con- 
quered in battle? At which he smiled, and said, "Yes, yes, we 
always fight the better"; that is, he meant, always get the bet- 
ter in fight; and so we began the following discourse: "You 
always fight the better," said I. "How came you to be taken 
prisoner then, Friday?" 

Friday. My nation beat much for all that. 

Master. How beat? If your nation beat them, how came 
you to be taken? 

Friday. They more many than my nation in the place 
where me was ; they take one, two, three, and me. My nation 
overheat them in the yonder place, where me no was : there my 
nation take one, two, great thousand. 

Master. But why did not your side recover you from the 
hands of your enemies then? 

Friday. They run one, two, three and me, and make go 
in the canoe ; my nation have no canoe that time. 

Master. Well, Friday, and what does your nation do with 



the men they take? Do they carry them away and eat them, 
as these did? 

Friday. Yes, my nation eat mans too; eat all up. 

Master. Where do they carry them? 

Friday. Go to other place, where they think. 

Master. Do they come hither? 

Friday. Yes, yes, they come hither ; come other else place. 

Master. Have you been here with them? 

Friday. Yes, I been here. (Points to the N.W. side of 
the island, which, it seems, was their side.) 

By this I understood that my man Friday had formerly been 
among the savages who used to come on shore on the farther 
part of the island, on the same man-eating occasions that he 
was now brought for; and, some time after, when I took the 
courage to carry him to that side, being the same I formerly 
mentioned, he presently knew the place, and told me he was 
there once when they ate up twenty men, two women, and one 
child. He could not tell twenty in English, but he numbered 
them by laying so many stones in a row, and pointing to me to 
tell them over. 

I have told this passage, because it introduces what follows ; 
that after I had had this discourse with him, I asked him how 
far it was from our island to the shore, and whether the canoes 
were not often lost. He told me there was no danger, no 
canoes ever lost; but that, after a little way out to the sea, there 
was a current and a wind, always one way in the morning, the 
other in the afternoon. 

This I understood to be no more than the sets of the tide, 



as going out or coming in ; but I afterwards understood it was 
occasioned by the great draught and reflux of the mighty river 
Orinoco, in the mouth or the gulf of which river, as I found 
afterwards, our island lay; and this land which I perceived to 
the W. and N.W. was the great island Trinidad, on the north 
point of the mouth of the river. I asked Friday a thousand 
questions about the country, the inhabitants, the sea, the coast, 
and what nations were near. He told me all he knew, with the 
greatest openness imaginable. I asked him the names of the 
several nations of his sort of people, but could get no other 
name than Caribs ; from whence I easily understood that these 
were the Caribbees, which our maps place on the part of Amer- 
ica which reaches from the mouth of the river Orinoco to 
Guiana, and onwards to St. Martha. He told me that up a 
great way beyond the moon, that was, beyond the setting of 
the moon, which must be W. from their country, there dwelt 
white-bearded men, like me, and pointed to my great whiskers, 
which I mentioned before ; and that they had killed much mans, 
that was his word; by all which I understood he meant the 
Spaniards, whose cruelties in America had been spread over the 
whole countries, and was remembered by all the nations from 
father to son. 

I inquired if he could tell me how I might come from this 
island and get among those white men. He told me, "Yes, 
yes, I might go in two canoe." I could not understand what 
he meant, or make him describe to me what he meant by two 
canoe; till at last, with great difficulty, I found he meant it 
must be in a large great boat, as big as two canoes. 



This part of Friday's discourse began to relish with me 
very well; and from this time I entertained some hopes that, 
one time or other, I might find an opportunity to make my 
escape from this place, and that this poor savage might be a 
means to help me to do it. 

During the long time that Friday had now been with me, 
and that he began to speak to me, and understand me, I was 
not wanting to lay a foundation of religious knowledge in his 
mind; particularly I asked him one time, Who made him? 
The poor creature did not understand me at all, but thought 
I had asked who was his father. But I took it by another 
handle, and asked him who made the sea, the ground we walked 
on, and the hills and woods? He told me it was one old Bena- 
muckee, that lived beyond all. He could describe nothing of 
this great person, but that he was very old, much older, he said, 
than the sea or the land, than the moon or the stars. I asked 
him then, if this old person had made all things, why did not 
all things worship him? He looked very grave, and with a 
perfect look of innocence said, "All things do say O to him." 
I asked him if the people who die in his country went away 
anywhere? He said, "Yes, they all went to Benamuckee." 
Then I asked him whether these they ate up went thither too? 
He said "Yes." 

From these things I began to instruct him in the knowledge 
of the true God. I told him that the great Maker of all things 
lived up there, pointing up towards heaven; that He governs 
the world by the same power and providence by which He made 
it; that He was omnipotent, could do everything for us, give 



everything to us, take everything from us ; and thus, by degrees, 
I opened his eyes. He listened with great attention, and re- 
ceived with pleasure the notion of Jesus Christ being sent to 
redeem us, and of the manner of making our prayers to God, 
and His being able to hear us, even into heaven. He told me 
one day that if our God could hear us up beyond the sun, He 
must needs be a greater God than their Benamuckee, who lived 
but a little way off, and yet could not hear till they went up to 
the great mountains where he dwelt to speak to him. I asked 
him if he ever went thither to speak to him? He said, No ; they 
never went that were young men ; none went thither but the old 
men, whom he called their Oowokakee, that is, as I made him 
explain it to me, their religious, or clergy ; and that they went 
to say O (so he called saying prayers), and then came back, 
and told them what Benamuckee said. But this I observed 
that there is priestcraft even amongst the most blinded, igno- 
rant pagans in the world; and the policy of making a secret 
religion in order to preserve the veneration of the people to 
the clergy is not only to be found in the Roman, but perhaps 
among all religions in the world, even among the most brutish 
and barbarous savages. 

I endeavored to clear up this fraud to my man Friday, and 
told him that the pretense of their old men going up to the 
mountains to say O to their god Benamuckee was a cheat, and 
their bringing word from thence what he said was much more 
so; that if they met with any answer, or spoke with any one 
there, it must be with an evil spirit; and then I entered into a 
long discourse with him about the devil, the original of him, his 



rebellion against God, his enmity to man, the reason of it, his 
setting himself up in the dark parts of the world to be wor- 
shipped instead of God, and as God, and the many stratagems 
he made use of to delude mankind to their ruin; how he had a 
secret access to our passions and to our affections, to adapt his 
snares so to our inclinations, as to cause us even to be our own 
tempters, and to run upon our destruction by our own choice. 

I found it was not so easy to imprint right notions in his 
mind about the devil, as it was about the being of a God. Na- 
ture assisted all my arguments to evidence to him even the 
necessity of a great First Cause and overruling, governing 
Power, a secret directing Providence, and of the equity and 
justice of paying homage to Him that made us, and the like. 

But there appeared nothing of all this in the notion of an evil 
spirit; of his original, his being, his nature, and above all, of 
his inclination to do evil, and to draw us in to do so too ; and the 
poor creature puzzled me once in such a manner by a question 
merely natural and innocent, that I scarce knew what to say 
to him. I had been talking a great deal to him of the power 
of God, His omnipotence, His dreadful aversion to sin, His 
being a consuming fire to the workers of iniquity; how, as He 
had made us all, He could destroy us and all the world in a 
moment; and he listened with great seriousness to me all the 

After this I had been telling him how the devil was God's 
enemy in the hearts of men, and used all his malice and skill 
to defeat the good designs of Providence, and to ruin the king- 
dom of Christ in the world, and the like. "Well," says Friday, 



"but you say God is so strong, so great; is He no much strong, 
much might as the devil?" "Yes, yes," says I, "Friday, God is 
stronger than the devil ; God is above the devil, and therefore 
we pray to God to tread him down under our feet, and enable 
us to resist his temptation, and quench his fiery darts." "But," 
says he again, "if God much strong, much might as the devil, 
why God no kill the devil, so make him no more do wicked?" 

I was strangely surprised at his question; and after all, 
though I was now an old man, yet I was but a young doctor, 
and ill enough qualified for a casuist, or a solver of difficulties ; 
and at first I could not tell what to say ; so I pretended not to 
hear him, and asked him what he said? But he was too earnest 
for an answer to forget his question, so that he repeated it in 
the very same broken words as above. By this time I had 
recovered myself a little, and I said, "God will at last punish 
him severely; he is reserved for the judgment, and is to be cast 
into the bottomless pit, to dwell with everlasting fire." This 
did not satisfy Friday; but he returned upon me, repeating my 
words "Reserve at last! me no understand; but why not kill the 
devil now? not kill great ago?" "You may as well ask me," 
said I, "why God does not kill you and me, when we do wicked 
things here that offend Him ; we are preserved to repent and 
be pardoned." He muses awhile at this. "Well, well," says 
he, mighty affectionately, "that well; so you, I, devil, all 
wicked, all preserve, repent, God pardon all." Here I was run 
down again by him to the last degree, and it was a testimony 
to me how the mere notions of nature, though they will guide 
reasonable creatures to the knowledge of a God, and of a wor- 



ship or homage due to the supreme being of God, as the conse- 
quence of our nature, yet nothing but Divine revelation can 
form the knowledge of Jesus Christ, and of a redemption pur- 
chased for us, of a Mediator of the new covenant, and of an 
Intercessor at the footstool of God's throne ; I say, nothing but 
a revelation from heaven can form these in the soul, and that 
therefore the Gospel of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, I 
mean the Word of God, and the Spirit of God, promised for 
the guide and sanctifier of His people, are the absolutely neces- 
sary instructors of the souls of men in the saving knowledge of 
God, and the means of salvation. 

I therefore diverted the present discourse between me and 
my man, rising up hastily, as upon some sudden occasion of 
going out; then sending him for something a good way off, I 
seriously prayed to God that He would enable me to instruct 
savingly this poor savage, assisting, by His Spirit, the heart of 
the poor ignorant creature to receive the light of the knowledge 
of God in Christ, reconciling him to Himself, and would guide 
me to speak so to him from the Word of God as his conscience 
might be convinced, his eyes opened, and his soul saved. When 
he came again to me, I entered into a long discourse with him 
upon the subject of the redemption of man by the Savior of 
the world, and of the doctrine of the Gospel preached from 
heaven, viz., of repentance towards God, and faith in our 
blessed Lord Jesus. I then explained to him as well as I could 
why our blessed Redeemer took not on Him the nature of 
angels, but the seed of Abraham ; and how, for that reason, the 
fallen angels had no share in the redemption; that He came 



only to the lost sheep of the house of Israel, and the like. 

I had, God knows, more sincerity than knowledge in all the 
methods I took for this poor creature's instruction, and must 
acknowledge, what I believe all that act upon the same prin- 
ciple will find, that in laying things open to him, I really in- 
formed and instructed myself in many things that either I did 
not know, or had not fully considered before, but which oc- 
curred naturally to my mind upon my searching into them for 
the information of this poor savage. And I had more affection 
in my inquiry after things upon this occasion than ever I felt 
before ; so that whether this poor wild wretch was the better for 
me or no, I had great reason to be thankful that ever he came 
to me. My grief set lighter upon me, my habitation grew 
comfortable to me beyond measure ; and w T hen I reflected, that 
in this solitary life which I had been confined to, I had not 
only been moved myself to look up to heaven, and to seek to 
the Hand that had brought me there, but was now to be made 
an instrument, under Providence, to save the life, and, for 
aught I know, the soul of a poor savage, and bring him to the 
true knowledge of religion, and of the Christian doctrine, that 
he might know Christ Jesus, to know whom is life eternal; — I 
say, when I reflected upon all these things, a secret joy ran 
through every part of my soul, and I frequently rejoiced that 
ever I was brought to this place, which I had so often thought 
the most dreadful of all afflictions that could possibly have 
befallen me. 

In this thankful frame I continued all the remainder of my 
time, and the conversation which employed the hours between 



Friday and me was such, as made the three years which we 
lived there together perfectly and completely happy, if any 
such thing as complete happiness can be formed in a sublunary 
state. The savage was now a good Christian, a much better 
than I; though I have reason to hope, and bless God for it, 
that we were equally penitent, and comforted, restored peni- 
tents. We had here the Word of God to read, and no farther 
off from His Spirit to instruct than if we had been in England. 

I always applied myself to reading the Scripture, to let him 
know, as well as I could, the meaning of what I read; and he 
again, by his serious inquiries and questions, made me, as I said 
before, a much better scholar in the Scripture-knowledge than 
I should ever have been by my own private mere reading. 
Another thing I cannot refrain from observing here also, from 
experience in this retired part of my life, viz., how infinite and 
inexpressible a blessing it is that the knowledge of God, and of 
the doctrine of salvation by Christ Jesus, is so plainly laid 
down in the Word of God, so easy to be received and under- 
stood; that as the bare reading the Scripture made me capable 
of understanding enough of my duty to carry me directly on to 
the great work of repentance for my sins, and laying hold of a 
Savior for life and salvation, to a stated reformation in prac- 
tice, and obedience to all God's commands, and this without any 
teacher or instructor (I mean human) ; so the same plain in- 
struction sufficiently served to the enlightening this savage 
creature, and bringing him to be such a Christian, as I have 
known few equal to him in my life. 

As to all the disputes, wranglings, strife, and contention 



which has happened in the world about religion, whether nice- 
ties in doctrines, or schemes of Church government, they were 
all perfectly useless to us ; as, for aught I can yet see, they have 
been to all the rest in the world. We had the sure guide to 
heaven, viz., the Word of God; and we had, blessed be God, 
comfortable views of the Spirit of God teaching and instructing 
us by His Word, leading us into all truth, and making us both 
willing and obedient to the instruction of His Word; and I 
cannot see the least use that the greatest knowledge of the dis- 
puted points in religion, which have made such confusions in 
the world would have been to us if we could have obtained it. 
But I must go on with the historical part of things and take 
every part in its order. 



Robinson and Friday Build a Canoe to Carry them to Friday's Country 
— Their Scheme Prevented by the Arrival of a Party of Savages 

AFTER Friday and I became more intimately ac- 
quainted and that he could understand almost all I 
said to him, and speak fluently, though in broken Eng- 
lish, to me, I acquainted him with my own story, or at least so 
much of it as related to my coming into the place; how I had 
lived there, and how long. I let him into the mystery, for such 
it was to him, of gunpowder and bullet, and taught him how to 
shoot ; I gave him a knife, which he was wonderfully delighted 
with, and I made him a belt, with a frog hanging to it, such as 
in England we wear hangers in; and in the frog, instead of a 
hanger, I gave him a hatchet, which was not only as good a 
weapon, in some cases, but much more useful upon other occa- 

I described to him the country of Europe, and particularly 
England, which I came from ; how we lived, how we worshipped 
God, how we behaved to one another, and how we traded in 
ships to all parts of the world. I gave him an account of the 
wreck which I had been on board of, and showed him, as near 
as I could, the place where she lay; but she was all beaten in 
pieces before, and gone. 

I showed him the ruins of our boat, which we lost when we 



escaped, and which I could not stir with my whole strength 
then, but was now fallen almost all to pieces. Upon seeing this 
boat, Friday stood musing a great while, and said nothing. I 
asked him what it was he studied upon. At last says he, "Me 
see such boat like come to place at my nation." 

I did not understand him a good while ; but at last, when I 
had examined farther into it, I understood by him that a boat 
such as that had been, came on shore upon the country where 
he lived ; that is, as he explained it, was driven thither by stress 
of weather. 

I presently imagined that some European ship must have 
been cast awa} r upon their coast, and the boat might get loose 
and drive ashore; but was so dull, that I never once thought 
of men making escape from a wreck thither, much less whence 
they might come; so I only inquired after a description of the 

Friday described the boat to me well enough; but brought 
me better to understand him when he added with some warmth, 
"We save the white mans from drown." Then I presently 
asked him if there was any white mans, as he called them, in 
the boat. "Yes," he said, "the boat full of white mans." I 
asked him how many. He told upon his fingers seventeen. I 
asked him then what became of them. He told me, "They live, 
they dwell at my nation." 

This put new thoughts into my head ; for I presently imag- 
ined that these might be the men belonging to the ship that was 
cast away in sight of my island, as I now call it ; and who, after 
the ship was struck on the rock, and they saw her inevitably 



lost, had saved themselves in their boat, and were landed upon 
that wild shore among the savages. 

Upon this I inquired of him more critically what was be- 
come of them. He assured me they lived still there; that they 
had been there about four years; that the savages let them 
alone, and gave them victuals to live. I asked him how it came 
to pass they did not kill them, and eat them. He said, "No, 
they make brother with them;" that is, as I understood him, a 
truce ; and then he added, "They no eat mans but when make 
the war fight;" that is to say, they never eat any men but such 
as come to fight with them and are taken in battle. 

It was after this some considerable time, that being on the 
top of the hill, at the east side of the island ( from whence, as I 
have said, I had in a clear day discovered the main or continent 
of America) , Friday, the weather being very serene, looks very 
earnestly towards the mainland, and, in a kind of surprise, falls 
a- jumping and dancing, and calls out to me, for I was at some 
distance from him. I asked him what was the matter? "O 
joy!" says he, "O glad! there see my country, there my nation!" 

I observed an extraordinary sense of pleasure appeared in 
his face, and his eyes sparkled, and his countenance discovered 
a strange eagerness, as if he had a mind to be in his own coun- 
try again; and this observation of mine put a great many 
thoughts into me, which made me at first not so easy about my 
new man Friday as I was before; and I made no doubt but 
that if Friday could get back to his own nation again, he would 
not only forget all his religion, but all his obligation to me ; and 
would be forward enough to give his countrymen an account of 



me, and come back perhaps with a hundred or two of them, and 
make a feast upon me, at which he might be as merry as he used 
to be with those of his enemies, when they were taken in war. 

But I wronged the poor honest creature very much, for 
which I was very sorry afterwards. However, as my jealousy 
increased, and held me some weeks, I was a little more circum- 
spect, and not so familiar and kind to him as before ; in which I 
was certainly in the wrong too, the honest, grateful creature 
having no thought about it but what consisted with the best 
principles, both as a religious Christian and as a grateful friend, 
as appeared afterwards to my full satisfaction. 

While my jealousy of him lasted, you may be sure I was 
every day pumping him, to see if he would discover any of the 
new thoughts which I suspected were in him; but I found 
everything he said was so honest and so innocent, that I could 
find nothing to nourish my suspicion; and, in spite of all my 
uneasiness, he made me at last entirely his own again, nor did 
he in the least perceive that I was uneasy, and therefore I could 
not suspect him of deceit. 

One day, walking up the same hill, but the weather being 
hazy at sea, so that we could not see the continent, I called to 
him, and said, "Friday, do not you wish yourself in your own 
country, your own nation?" "Yes," he said, "I be much O 
glad to be at my own nation." "What would you do there?" 
said I. "Would you turn wild again, eat men's flesh again, 
and be a savage as you were before?" He looked full of con- 
cern, and shaking his head said, "No, no; Friday tell them to 
live good; tell them to pray God; tell them to eat corn-bread, 



cattle-flesh, milk, no eat man again." "Why then," said I to 
him, "they will kill you." He looked grave at that, and then 
said, "No, they no kill me, they willing love learn." He meant 
by this they would be willing to learn. He added, they learned 
much of the bearded mans that come in the boat. Then I 
asked him if he would go back to them? He smiled at that, 
and told me he could not swim so far. I told him I would 
make a canoe for him. He told me he would go, if I would go 
with him. "I go?" says I; "why, they will eat me if I come 
there." "No, no," says he, "me make they no eat you; me 
make they much love you." He meant, he would tell them 
how I had killed his enemies, and saved his life, and so he 
would make them love me. Then he told me, as well as he 
could, how kind they were to seventeen white men, or bearded 
men, as he called them, who came on shore there in distress. 

From this time I confess I had a mind to venture over, and 
see if I could possibly join with these bearded men, who, I made 
no doubt, were Spaniards or Portuguese; not doubting that, if 
I could, we might find some method to escape from thence, 
being upon the continent, and a good company together, better 
than I could from an island forty miles off the shore, and alone, 
without help. So, after some days, I took Friday to work 
again, by way of discourse, and told him I would give him a 
boat to go back to his own nation; and accordingly I carried 
him to my frigate, which lay on the other side of the island, and 
having cleared it of water, for I always kept it sunk in the 
water, I brought it out, showed it him, and we both went into it. 

I found he was a most dexterous fellow at managing it, and 



would make it go almost as swift and fast again as I could. 
So when he was in I said to him, "Well now, Friday, shall we 
go to your nation?" He looked very dull at my saying so, 
which, it seems, was because he thought the boat too small to 
go so far. I told him then I had a bigger; so the next day I 
went to the place where the first boat lay which I had made, 
but which I could not get into the water. He said that was 
big enough ; but then, as I had taken no care of it, and it had 
lain two or three and twenty years there, the sun had split and 
dried it, that it was in a manner rotten. Friday told me such 
a boat would do very well, and would carry "much enough 
victual, drink, bread;" that was his way of talking. 

Upon the whole, I was by this time so fixed upon my design 
of going over with him to the continent, that I told him we 
would go and make one as big as that, and he should go home 
in it. He answered not one word, but looked very grave and 
sad. I asked him what was the matter with him? He asked 
me again thus, "Why you angry mad with Friday? what me 
done?" I asked him what he meant. I told him I was not 
angry with him at all. "No angry! no angry!" says he, re- 
peating the words several times. "Why send Friday home 
away to my nation?" "Why," says I, "Friday, did you not 
say you wished you were there?" "Yes, yes," says he, "wish 
be both there, no wish Friday there, no master there." In a 
word, he would not think of going there without me. "I go 
there, Friday!" says I; "what shall I do there?" He turned 
very quick upon me at this: "You do great deal much good," 
says he; "you teach wild mans to be good, sober, tame mans; 



you tell them know God, pray God, and live new life." "Alas ! 
Friday," says I, "thou knowest not what thou sayest. I am 
but an ignorant man myself." "Yes, yes," says he, "you 
teachee me good, you teachee them good." "No, no, Friday," 
says I, "you shall go without me; leave me here to live by my- 
self, as I did before." He looked confused again at that word, 
and running to one of the hatchets which he used to wear, he 
takes it up hastily, comes and gives it me. "What must I do 
with this?" says I to him. "You take kill Friday," says he. 
"What must I kill you for?" said I again. He returns very 
quick, "What you send Friday away for? Take kill Friday, 
no send Friday away." This he spoke so earnestly, that I saw 
tears stand in his eyes. In a word, I so plainly discovered the 
utmost affection in him to me, and a firm resolution in him, 
that I told him then, and often after, that I would never send 
him away from me if he was willing to stay with me. 

Upon the whole, as I found by all his discourse a settled 
affection to me, and that nothing should part him from me, so 
I found all the foundation of his desire to go to his own country 
was laid in his ardent affection to the people, and his hopes of 
my doing them good ; a thing which, as I had no notion of my- 
self, so I had not the least thought or intention or desire of 
undertaking it. But still I found a strong inclination to my 
attempting an escape, as above, founded on the supposition 
gathered from the discourse, viz., that there were seventeen 
bearded men there; and, therefore, without any more delay I 
went to work with Friday to find out a great tree proper to fell, 
and make a large periagua, or canoe, to undertake the voyage. 



There were trees enough in the island to have built a little fleet, 
not of periaguas and canoes, but even of good large vessels. 
But the main thing I looked at was, to get one so near the 
water that we might launch it when it was made, to avoid the 
mistake I committed at first. 

At last Friday pitched upon a tree, for I found he knew 
much better than I what kind of wood was fittest for it; nor 
can I tell, to this day, what wood to call the tree we cut down, 
except that it was very like the tree we call fustic, or between 
that and the Nicaragua wood, for it was much of the same color 
and smell. Friday was for burning the hollow or cavity of 
this tree out, to make it for a boat, but I showed him how rather 
to cut it out with tools ; which, after I had showed him how to 
use, he did very handily ; and in about a month's hard labor we 
finished it, and made it very handsome; especially when, with 
our axes, which I showed him how to handle, we cut and hewed 
the outside into the true shape of a boat. After this, however, 
it cost us near a fortnight's time to get her along, as it were 
inch by inch, upon great rollers into the water; but when she 
was in, she would have carried twenty men with great ease. 

When she was in the water, and though she was so big, it 
amazed me to see svith what dexterity, and how swift my man 
Friday would manage her, turn her, and paddle her along. So 
I asked him if he would, and if we might venture over in her. 
"Yes," he said, "he venture over in her very well, though great 
blow wind." However, I had a farther design that he knew 
nothing of, and that was to make a mast and sail, and to fit her 
with an anchor and cable. As to a mast, that was easy enough 



to get ; so I pitched upon a straight young cedar tree, which I 
found near the place, and which there was great plenty of in 
the island ; and I set Friday to work to cut it down, and gave 
him directions how to shape and order it. But as to the sail, 
that was my particular care. I knew I had old sails, or rather 
pieces of old sails enough ; but as I had had them now twenty- 
six years by me, and had not been very careful to preserve 
them, not imagining that I should ever have this kind of use for 
them, I did not doubt but they were all rotten, and, indeed, 
most of them were so. However, I found two pieces which 
appeared pretty good, and with these I went to work, and with 
a great deal of pains, and awkward tedious stitching (you may 
be sure) for want of needles, I, at length, made a three- 
cornered ugly thing, like what we call in England a shoulder- 
of -mutton sail, to go with a boom at bottom, and a little short 
sprit at the top, such as usually our ships' longboats sail with, 
and such as I best knew how to manage ; because it was such a 
one as I had to the boat in which I made my escape from Bar- 
bary, as related in the first part of my story. 

I was near two months performing this last work, viz., 
rigging and fitting my mast and sails ; for I finished them very 
complete, making a small stay, and a sail, or foresail, to it, to 
assist, if we should turn to windward; and, which was more 
than all, I fixed a rudder to the stern of her to steer with ; and 
though I was but a bungling shipwright yet as I knew the use- 
fulness, and even necessity, of such a thing, I applied myself 
with so much pains to do it, that at last I brought it to pass; 
though, considering the many dull contrivances I had for it that 


© C. B. C. 

" — we cut and hewed the outside into the true shape of a boat 


failed, I think it cost me almost as much labor as making the 

After all this was done too, I had my man Friday to teach 
as to what belonged to the navigation of my boat; for though 
he knew very well how to paddle a canoe, he knew nothing what 
belonged to a sail and a rudder ; and was the most amazed when 
he saw me work the boat to and again in the sea by the rudder, 
and how the sail jibed, and filled this way, or that way, as the 
course we sailed changed ; I say, when he saw this, he stood like 
one astonished and amazed. However, with a little use I made 
all these things familiar to him, and he became an expert sailor, 
except that as to the compass I could make him understand 
very little of that. On the other hand, as there was very little 
cloud3 T weather, and seldom or never any fogs in those parts, 
there was the less occasion for a compass, seeing the stars were 
always to be seen by night, and the shore by day, except in the 
rainy seasons, and then nobody cared to stir abroad, either by 
land or sea. 

I was now entered on the seven and twentieth year of my 
captivity in this place; though the three last years that I had 
this creature with me ought rather to be left out of the account, 
my habitation being quite of another kind than in all the rest 
of the time. I kept the anniversary of my landing here with 
the same thankfulness to God for His mercies as at first; and 
if I had such cause of acknowledgement at first, I had much 
more so now, having such additional testimonies of the care of 
Providence over me, and the great hopes I had of being effec- 
tually and speedily delivered; for I had an invincible imp res- 



sion upon my thoughts that my deliverance was at hand, and 
that I should not be another year in this place. However, I 
went on with my husbandry, digging, planting, fencing, as 
usual. I gathered and cured my grapes, and did every neces- 
sary thing as before. 

The rainy season was, in the meantime, upon me, when I 
kept more within doors than at other times; so I had stowed 
our new vessel as secure as we could, bringing her up into the 
creek, where, as I said in the beginning, I landed my rafts from 
the ship ; and hauling her up to the shore at high-water mark, I 
made my man Friday dig a little dock, just big enough to hold 
her, and just deep enough to give her water enough to float in; 
and then, when the tide was out, we made a strong dam cross 
the end of it, to keep the water out; and so she lay dry, as to 
the tide, from the sea ; and to keep the rain off, we laid a great 
many boughs of trees, so thick, that she was as well thatched as 
a house; and thus we waited for the month of November and 
December, in which I designed to make my adventure. 

When the settled season began to come in, as the thought 
of my design returned with the fair weather, I was preparing 
daily for the voyage ; and the first thing I did was to lay by a 
certain quantity of provisions, being the stores for our voyage ; 
and intended, in a week or a fortnight's time, to open the dock, 
and launch out our boat. I was busy one morning upon some- 
thing of this kind, when I called to Friday, and bid him go to 
the seashore and see if he could find a turtle, or tortoise, a thing 
which we generally got once a week, for the sake of the eggs as 
well as the flesh. Friday had not been long gone when he 



came running back, and flew over my outer wall, or fence, like 
one that felt not the ground, or the steps he set his feet on; and 
before I had time to speak to him, he cries out to me, "O mas- 
ter! O master! O sorrow! O bad!" "What's the matter, Fri- 
day?" sa} 7 s I. "O yonder, there," says he, "one, two, three 
canoe! one, two, three!" By his way of speaking, I concluded 
there were six; but, on inquiry, I found it was but three. 
"Well, Friday," says I, "do not be frightened." So I heart- 
ened him up as well as I could. However, I saw the poor 
fellow was most terribly scared; for nothing ran in his head 
but that they were come to look for him, and would cut him in 
pieces, and eat him; and the poor fellow trembled so, that I 
scarce knew what to do with him. I comforted him as well as 
I could, and told him I was in as much danger as he, and that 
they would eat me as well as him. "But," says I, "Friday, we 
must resolve to fight them. Can you fight, Friday?" "Me 
shoot," says he; "but there come many great number." "No 
matter for that," said I again; "our guns will frighten them 
that we do not kill." So I asked him whether, if I resolved to 
defend him, he would defend me, and stand by me, and do just 
as I bid him. He said, "Me die when you bid die, master." 
So I went and fetched a good dram of rum, and gave him ; 
for I had been so good a husband of my rum, that I had a great 
deal left. When he drank it, I made him take the two fowling- 
pieces, which we always carried, and load them with large swan- 
shot, as big as small pistol-bullets. Then I took four muskets, 
and loaded them with two slugs and five small bullets each; 
and my two pistols I loaded with a brace of bullets each. I 



hung my great sword, as usual, naked by my side, and gave 
Friday his hatchet. 

When I had thus prepared myself, I took my perspective- 
glass, and went up to the side of the hill to see what I could 
discover; and I found quickly, by my glass, that there were 
one and twenty savages, three prisoners, and three canoes, and 
that their whole business seemed to be the triumphant banquet 
upon these three human bodies; a barbarous feast indeed, but 
nothing more than, as I had observed, was usual with them. 

I observed also that they were landed, not where they had 
done when Friday made his escape, but nearer to my creek, 
where the shore was low, and where the thick wood came close 
almost down to the sea. This, with the abhorrence of the inhu- 
man errand these wretches came about, filled me with such in- 
dignation, that I came down again to Friday, and told him I 
Was resolved to go down to them, and kill them all, and asked 
him if he would stand by me. He was now gotten over his 
fright, and his spirits being a little raised with the dram I had 
given him, he was very cheerful, and told me, as before, he 
would die when I bid die. 

In this fit of fury, I took first and divided the arms which 
I had charged, as before, between us. I gave Friday one pistol 
to stick in his girdle, and three guns upon his shoulder; and I 
took one pistol, and the other three myself, and in this posture 
we marched out. I took a small bottle of rum in my pocket, 
and gave Friday a large bag with more powder and bullet ; and 
as to orders, I charged him to keep close behind me, and not to 
stir, or shoot, or do anything, till I bid him, and in the mean- 



time not to speak a word. In this posture I fetched a compass 
to my right hand of near a mile as well to get over the creek 
as to get into the wood, so that I might come within shot of 
them before I should be discovered, which I had seen, by my 
glass, it was easy to do. 

While I was making this march, my former thoughts re- 
turning, I began to abate my resolution. I do not mean that 
I entertained any fear of their number ; for as they were naked, 
unarmed wretches, 'tis certain I was superior to them; nay, 
though I had been alone. But it occurred to my thoughts what 
call, what occasion, much less what necessity, I was in to go and 
dip my hands in blood, to attack people who had neither done 
or intended me smy wrong; who, as to me, were innocent, and 
whose barbarous customs were their own disaster; being in 
them a token indeed of God's having left them, with the other 
nations of that part of the world, to such stupidity, and to such 
inhuman courses ; but did not call me to take upon me to be a 
judge of their actions, much less an executioner of His justice; 
that whenever he thought fit, He would take the cause into His 
own hands, and by national vengeance, punish them, as a peo- 
ple, for national crimes ; but that, in the meantime, it was none 
of my business; that, it was true, Friday might justify it, be- 
cause he was a declared enemy, and in state of war with those 
very particular people, and it was lawful for him to attack 
them ; but I could not say the same with respect to me. These 
things were so warmly pressed upon my thoughts all the way 
as I went, that I resolved I would only go and place myself 
near them, that I might observe their barbarous feast, and that 



I would act then as God should direct ; but that, unless some- 
thing offered that was more a call to me than yet I knew of, I 
would not meddle with them. 

With this resolution I entered the wood, and with all pos- 
sible wariness and silence, Friday following close at my heels, 
I marched till I came to the skirt of the wood, on the side which 
was next to them ; only that one corner of the wood lay between 
me and them. Here I called softly to Friday, and showing 
him a great tree, which was just at the corner of the wood, I 
bade him go to the tree and bring me word if he could see there 
plainly what they were doing. He did so, and came imme- 
diately back to me, and told me they might be plainly viewed 
there ; that they were all about their fire, eating the flesh of one 
of their prisoners, and that another lay bound upon the sand, 
a little from them, which, he said, they would kill next; and, 
which fired all the very soul within me, he told me it was not 
one of their nation, but one of the bearded men, whom he had 
told me of, that came to their country in the boat. I was filled 
with horror at the very naming the white, bearded man; and 
going to the tree, I saw plainly, by my glass, a white man, who 
lay upon the beach of the sea, with his hands and feet tied with 
flags, or things like rushes, and that he was an European, and 
had clothes on. 

There was another tree, and a little thicket beyond it, about 
fifty yards nearer to them than the place where I was, which, 
by going a little way about, I saw I might come at undiscov- 
ered, and that when I should be within half shot of them ; so I 
withheld my passion, though I was indeed enraged to the high- 



est degree; and going back about twenty paces, I got behind 
some bushes, which held all the way till I came to the other tree ; 
and then I came to a little rising ground, which gave me a full 
view of them, at the distance of about eighty yards. 



Robinson Releases a Spaniard — Friday Discovers His Father — Ac- 
commodation Provided for These New Guests, Who Were After- 
ward Sent to Liberate the Other Spaniards — Arrival 
of an English Vessel 

I HAD now not a moment to lose, for nineteen of the dread- 
ful wretches sat upon the ground, all close huddled to- 
gether, and had just sent the other two to butcher the 
poor Christian, and bring him, perhaps limb by limb, to their 
fire; and they were stooped down to untie the bands at his feet. 
I turned to Friday: "Now, Friday," said I, "do as I bid 
thee." Friday said he would. "Then, Friday," says I, "do 
exactly as you see me do; fail in nothing." So I set down one 
of the muskets and the fowling-piece upon the ground, and 
Friday did the like by his; and with the other musket I took 
my aim at the savages, bidding him do the like. Then asking 
him if he was ready, he said, "Yes." "Then fire at them," said 
I ; and the same moment I fired also. 

Friday took his aim so much better than I, that on the side 
that he shot he killed two of them, and wounded three more; 
and on my side I killed one and wounded two. They were, you 
may be sure, in a dreadful consternation ; and all of them who 
were not hurt jumped up upon their feet, but did not imme- 
diately know which way to run, or which way to look, for they 



knew not from whence their destruction came. Friday kept 
his eyes close upon me, that, as I had bid him, he might observe 
what I did ; so as soon as the first shot was made I threw down 
the piece, and took up the fowling-piece; and Friday did the 
like. He saw me cock and present; he did the same again. 
"Are you ready, Friday?" said I. "Yes," said he. "Let fly, 
then," said I, "in the name of God!" and with that I fired 
again among the amazed wretches, and so did Friday; and as 
our pieces were now loaded with what I called swanshot or 
small pistol-bullets, we found only two drop, but so many were 
wounded, that they ran about yelling and screaming like mad 
creatures, all bloody, and miserably wounded most of them; 
whereof three more fell quickty after, though not quite dead. 
"Now, Friday," says I, laying down the discharged pieces, 
and taking up the musket which was yet loaded, "follow me," 
says I, which he did with a great deal of courage; upon which 
I rushed out of the wood, and showed myself, and Friday close 
at my foot. As soon as I perceived they saw me I shouted as 
loud as I could, and bade Friday do so too; and running as 
fast as I could, which, by the way, was not very fast, being 
loaden with arms as I was, I made directly towards the poor 
victim, who was, as I said, lying upon the beach, or shore, be- 
tween the place where they sat and the sea. The two butchers, 
who were just going to work with him, had left him at the sur- 
prise of our first fire, and fled in a terrible fright to the seaside, 
and had jumped into a canoe, and three more of the rest made 
the same way. I turned to Friday, and bid him step forwards 
and fire at them. He understood me immediately, and run- 



ning about forty yards, to be near them, he shot at them, and 
I thought he had killed them all, for I saw them all fall of a 
heap into the boat; though I saw two of them up again quickly. 
However, he killed two of them, and wounded the third, so that 
he lay down in the bottom of the boat as if he had been dead. 
While my man Friday fired at them, I pulled out my knife 
and cut the flags that bound the poor victim; and loosing his 
hands and feet, I lifted him up, and asked him in the Portu- 
guese tongue who he was. He answered in Latin, "Chris- 
tianus" ; but was so weak and faint, that he could scarce stand 
or speak. I took my bottle out of my pocket and gave it him, 
making signs that he should drink, which he did; and I gave 
him a piece of bread, which he ate. Then I asked him what 
countnrrnan he was; and he said, "Espagniole"; and being a lit- 
tle recovered, let me know, by all the signs he could possibly 
make, how much he was in my debt for his deliverance. 
"Senor," said I, with as much Spanish as I could make up, "we 
will talk afterwards, but we must fight now. If you have any 
strength left, take this pistol and sword, and lay about you." 
He took them very thankfully, and no sooner had he the arms 
in his hands but, as if they had put new vigor into him, he flew 
upon his murderers like a fury, and had cut two of them in 
pieces in an instant ; for the truth is, as the whole was a surprise 
to them, so the poor creatures were so much frightened with 
the noise of our pieces, that they fell down for mere amazement 
and fear, and had no more power to attempt their own escape, 
than their flesh had to resist our shot ; and that was the case of 
those five that Friday shot at in the boat; for as three of them 


" — and no sooner had he the arms in his hands but, as if they had pat new vigor into him, 
he fleiv upon his murderers like a fury ' ' 


fell with the hurt they received, so the other two fell with 
the fright. 

I kept my piece in my hand still without firing, being will- 
ing to keep my charge ready, because I had given the Spaniard 
my pistol and sword. So I called to Friday, and bade him run 
up to the tree from whence we first fired, and fetch the arms 
which lay there that had been discharged, which he did with 
great swiftness; and then giving him my musket, I sat down 
myself to load all the rest again, and bade them come to me 
when they wanted. While I was loading these pieces, there 
happened a fierce engagement between the Spaniard and one of 
the savages, who made at him with one of their great wooden 
swords, the same weapon that was to have killed him before if 
I had not prevented it. The Spaniard, who was as bold and as 
brave as could be imagined, though weak, had fought this In- 
dian a good while, and had cut him two great wounds on his 
head ; but the savage being a stout lusty fellow, closing in with 
him, had thrown him down being faint, and was wringing my 
sword out of his hand, when the Spaniard, though undermost, 
wisely quitting the sword, drew the pistol from his girdle, shot 
the savage through the body, and killed him upon the spot, 
before I, who was running to help him, could come near him. 

Friday being now left to his liberty, pursued the flying 
wretches with no weapon in his hand but his hatchet; and with 
that he despatched those three who, as I said before, were 
wounded at first, and fallen, and all the rest he could come up 
with; and the Spaniard coming to me for a gun, I gave him 
one of the fowling-pieces, with which he pursued two of the 



savages, and wounded them both ; but as he was not able to run, 
they both got away from him into the wood, where Friday 
pursued them, and killed one of them; but the other was too 
nimble for him, and though he was wounded, yet had plunged 
himself into the sea, and swam with all his might off to those 
two who were left in the canoe ; which three in the canoe, with 
one wounded, who we know not whether he died or no, were 
all that escape our hands of one and twenty. The account of 
the rest is as follows : — 

3 killed at our first shot from the tree. 
2 killed at the next shot. 

2 killed by Friday in the boat. 

2 killed by ditto, of those at first wounded. 

1 killed by ditto in the wood. 

8 killed by the Spaniard. 

4 killed, being found dropped here and there of their 

wounds, or killed by Friday in his chase of them. 
4 escaped in the boat, whereof one wounded, if not 

21 in all. 

Those that were in the canoe worked hard to get out of 
gun-shot; and though Friday made two or three shots at 
them, I did not find that he hit any of them. Friday would 
fain have had me take one of their canoes, and pursue them; 
and, indeed, I was very anxious about their escape, lest carry- 
ing the news home to their people they should come back per- 



haps with two or three hundred of their canoes, and devour us 
by mere multitude. Sol consented to pursue them by sea, and 
running to one of their canoes, I jumped in, and bade Friday 
follow me. Rut when I was in the canoe, I was surprised to 
find another poor creature lie there alive, bound hand and foot, 
as the Spaniard was, for the slaughter, and almost dead with 
fear, not knowing what the matter was; for he had not been 
able to look up over the side of the boat, he was tied so hard, 
neck and heels, and had been tied so long, that he had really 
but little life in him. 

I immediately cut the twisted flags or rushes, which they 
had bound him with, and would have helped him up; but he 
could not stand or speak, but groaned most piteously, believing, 
it seems, still that he was only unbound in order to be killed. 

When Friday came to him, I bade him speak to him, and 
tell him of his deliverance ; and pulling out my bottle made him 
give the poor wretch a dram ; which, with the news of his being 
delivered, revived him, and he sat up in the boat. But when 
Friday came to hear him speak, and look in his face, it would 
have moved any one to tears to have seen how Friday kissed 
him, embraced him, hugged him, cried, laughed, halloed, 
jumped about, danced, sang; then cried again, wrung his 
hands, beat his own face and head, and then sang and jumped 
about again, like a distracted creature. It was a good while 
before I could make him speak to me, or tell me what was the 
matter; but when he came a little to himself, he told me that 
it was his father. 

It is not easy for me to express how it moved me to see what 



ecstasy and filial affection had worked in this poor savage at 
the sight of his father, and of his being delivered from death ; 
nor, indeed, can I describe half the extravagances of his affec- 
tion after this ; for he went into the boat, and out of the boat, a 
great many times. When he went in to him, he would sit down 
by him, open his breast, and hold his father's head close to his 
bosom, half an hour together to nourish it; then he took his 
arms and ankles, which were numbed and stiff with the binding, 
and chafed and rubbed them with his hands ; and I, perceiving 
what the case was, gave him some rum out of my bottle to rub 
them with, which did them a great deal of good. 

This action put an end to our pursuit of the canoe with the 
other savages, who were now gotten almost out of sight; and 
it was happy for us that we did not, for it blew so hard within 
two hours after, and before they could be gotten a quarter of 
the way, and continued blowing so hard all night, and that from 
the north-west, which was against them, that I should not sup- 
pose their boat could live, or that they ever reached to their 
own coast. 

But to return to Friday. He was so busy about his father, 
that I could not find in my heart to take him off for some time ; 
but after I thought he could leave him a little, called him to 
me, and he came jumping and laughing, and pleased to the 
highest extreme. Then I asked him if he had given his father 
any bread. He shook his head, and said, "None; ugly dog eat 
all up self." So I gave him a cake of bread out of a little 
pouch I carried on purpose. I also gave him a dram for him- 
self, but he would not taste it, but carried it to his father. I 



had in my pocket also two or three bunches of my raisins, so I 
gave him a handful of them for his father. He had no sooner 
given his father these raisins, but I saw him come out of the 
boat and run away, as if he had been bewitched, he ran at such 
a rate; for he was the swiftest fellow of his foot that ever I 
saw. I say, he ran at such a rate, that he was out of sight, as 
it were, in an instant; and though I called, and halloed too, 
after him, it was all one, away he went ; and in a quarter of an 
hour I saw him come back again, though not so fast as he went ; 
and as he came nearer I found his pace was slacker, because he 
had something in his hand. 

When he came up to me, I found he had been quite home 
for an earthen jug, or pot, to bring his father some fresh water, 
and that he had got two more cakes or loaves of bread. The 
bread he gave me, but the water he carried to his father. How- 
ever, as I was very thirsty too, I took a little sup of it. This 
water revived his father more than all the rum or spirits I had 
given him, for he was just fainting with thirst. 

When his father had drank, I called to him to know if there 
was any water left. He said "Yes"; and I bade him give it 
to the poor Spaniard, who was in as much want of it as his 
father; and I sent one of the cakes, that Friday brought, to the 
Spaniard too, who was indeed very weak, and was reposing 
himself upon a green place under the shade of a tree ; and whose 
limbs were also very stiff, and very much swelled with the rude 
bandage he had been tied with. When I saw that upon Fri- 
day's coming to him with the water he sat up and drank, and 
took the bread, and began to eat, I went to him, and gave him 



a handful of raisins. He looked up in my face with all the 
tokens of gratitude and thankfulness that could appear in any 
countenance; but was so weak, notwithstanding he had so 
exerted himself in the fight, that he could not stand up upon 
his feet. He tried to do it two or three times, but was really 
not able, his ankles were so swelled and so painful to him; so 
I bade him sit still, and caused Friday to rub his ankles, and 
bathe them with rum, as he had done his father's. 

I observed the poor affectionate creature, every two min- 
utes, or perhaps less, all the while he was here, turn his head 
about to see if his father was in the same place and posture as 
he left him sitting; and at last he found he was not to be seen; 
at which he started up, and without speaking a word, flew with 
that swiftness to him, that one could scarce perceive his feet to 
touch the ground as he went. But when he came, he only 
found he had laid himself down to ease his limbs; so Friday 
came back to me presently, and I then spoke to the Spaniard 
to let Friday help him up, if he could, and lead him to the boat, 
and then he should carry him to our dwelling, where I would 
take care of him. But Friday, a lusty strong fellow, took the 
Spaniard quite up upon his back, and carried him away to the 
boat, and set him down softly upon the side or gunwale of the 
canoe, with his feet in the inside of it, and then lifted him quite 
in, and set him close to his father; and presently stepping out 
again, launched the boat off, and paddled it along the shore 
faster than I could walk, though the wind blew pretty hard too* 
So he brought them both safe into our creek, and leaving them 
in the boat, ran away to fetch the other canoe. As he passed 



me, I spoke to him, and asked him whither he went. He told 
me, "Go fetch more boat." So away he went like the wind, 
for sure never man or horse ran like him ; and he had the other 
canoe in the creek almost as soon as I got to it by land; so he 
wafted me over, and then went to help our new guests out of 
the boat, which he did; but they were neither of them able to 
walk, so that poor Friday knew not what to do. 

To remedy this I went to work in my thought, and calling 
to Friday to bid him sit down on the bank while he came to 
me, I soon made a kind of hand-barrow to lay them on, and 
Friday and I carried them up both together upon it between 
us. But when we got them to the outside of our wall, or forti- 
fication, we were at a worse loss than before, for it was impos- 
sible to get them over, and I was resolved not to break it down. 
So I set to work again; and Friday and I, in about two hours' 
time, made a very handsome tent, covered with old sails, and 
above that with boughs of trees, being in the space without our 
outward fence, and between that and the grove of young wood 
which I had planted ; and here we made them two beds of such 
things as I had, viz., of good rice-straw, with blankets laid upon 
it to lie on, and another to cover them, on each bed. 

My island was now peopled, and I thought myself very rich 
in subjects; and it was a merry reflection, which I frequently 
made, how like a king I looked. First of all, the whole country 
was my own mere property, so that I had an undoubted right 
of dominion. Secondly, my people were perfectly subjected. 
I was absolute lord and lawgiver; they all owed their lives to 
me, and were ready to lay down their lives, if there had been 



occasion of it, for me. It was remarkable, too, we had but 
three subjects, and they were of three different religions. My 
man Friday was a Protestant, his father was a Pagan and a 
cannibal, and the Spaniard was a Papist. However, I allowed 
liberty of conscience throughout my dominions. But this is 
by the way. 

As soon as I had secured my two weak rescued prisoners, 
and given them shelter and a place to rest them upon, I began 
to think of making some provision for them ; and the first thing 
I did, I ordered Friday to take a yearling goat, betwixt a kid 
and a goat, out of my particular flock, to be killed; when I cut 
off the hinder-quarter, and chopping it into small pieces, I set 
Friday to work to boiling and stewing, and made them a very 
good dish, I assure you, of flesh and broth, having put some 
barley and rice also into the broth; and as I cooked it without 
doors, for I made no fire within my inner wall, so I carried it 
all into the new tent, and having set a table there for them, I 
sat down and ate my own dinner also with them, and as well as 
I could cheered them, and encouraged them; Friday being my 
interpreter, especially to his father, and indeed, to the Span- 
iard too; for the Spaniard spoke the language of the savages 
pretty well. 

After we had dined, or rather supped, I ordered Friday to 
take one of the canoes and go and fetch our muskets and other 
firearms, which, for want of time, we had left upon the place of 
battle ; and the next day I ordered him to go and bury the dead 
bodies of the savages, which lay open to the sun, and would 
presently be offensive ; and I also ordered him to bury the hor- 



rid remains of their barbarous feast, and which I could not 
think of doing myself; nay, I could not bear to see them, if I 
went that way. All which he punctually performed, and de- 
faced the very appearance of the savages being there; so that 
when I went again I could scarce know where it was, otherwise 
than by the corner of the wood pointing to the place. 

I then began to enter into a little conversation with my two 
new subjects; and first, I set Friday to inquire of his father 
what he thought of the escape of the savages in that canoe, and 
whether we might expect a return of them, with a power too 
great for us to resist. His first opinion was, that the savages 
in the boat never could live out the storm which blew that night 
they went off, but must, of necessity, be drowned, or driven 
south to those other shores, where they were as sure to be de- 
voured as they were to be drowned if they were cast away. 
But as to what they would do if they came safe on shore, he 
said he knew not; but it was his opinion that they were so 
dreadfully frightened with the manner of their being attacked, 
the noise, and the fire, that he believed they would tell their 
people they were all killed by thunder and lightning, not by 
the hand of man; and that the two which appeared, viz., Friday 
and me, were two heavenly spirits, or furies, come down to 
destroy them, and not men with weapons. This, he said, he 
knew, because he heard them all cry out so in their language 
to one another; for it was impossible to them to conceive that 
a man could dart fire, and speak thunder, and kill at a distance 
without lifting up the hand, as was done now. And this old 
savage was in the right; for as I understood since by other 



hands, the savages never attempted to go to the island after- 
wards. They were so terrified with the accounts given by 
those four men (for, it seems, they did escape the sea), that 
they believed whoever went to that enchanted island would be 
destroyed with fire from the gods. 

This, however, I knew not, and therefore was under con- 
tinual apprehensions for a good while, and kept always upon 
my guard, me and all my army ; for as we were now four of us, 
I would have ventured upon a hundred of them, fairly in the 
open field, at any time. 

In a little time, however, no more canoes appearing, the fear 
of their coming wore off, and I began to take my former 
thoughts of a voyage to the main into consideration; being like- 
wise assured, by Friday's father, that I might depend upon 
good usage from their nation, on his account, if I would go. 

But my thoughts were a little suspended when I had a seri- 
ous discourse with the Spaniard, and when I understood that 
there were sixteen more of his countrymen and Portuguese, 
who, having been cast away, and made their escape to that side, 
lived there at peace, indeed, with the savages, but were very 
sore put to it for necessaries, and indeed for life. I asked him 
all the particulars of their voyage, and found they were a Span- 
ish ship bound from the Rio de la Plata to Havana, being di- 
rected to leave their loading there, which was chiefly hides and 
silver, and to bring back what European goods they could meet 
with there; that they had five Portuguese seamen on board, 
whom they took out of another wreck; that five of their own 
men were drowned when the first ship was lost, and that these 



escaped, through infinite dangers and hazards, and arrived, 
almost starved, on the cannibal coast, where they expected to 
have been devoured every moment. 

He told me they had some arms with them, but they were 
perfectly useless, for that they had neither powder nor ball, the 
washing of the sea having spoiled all their powder but a little, 
which they used, at their first landing, to provide themselves 
some food. 

I asked him what he thought would become of them there, 
and if they had formed no design of making any escape ? He 
said they had many consultations about it; but that having 
neither vessel, or tools to build one, or provisions of any kind, 
their councils always ended in tears and despair. 

I asked him how he thought they would receive a proposal 
from me, which might tend towards an escape ; and whether, if 
they were all here, it might not be done ? I told him with free- 
dom, I feared mostly their treachery and ill usage of me if I 
put my life in their hands; for that gratitude was no inherent 
virtue in the nature of man, nor did men always square their 
dealings by the obligations they had received, so much as they 
did by the advantages they expected. I told him it would be 
very hard that I should be the instrument of their deliverance, 
and that they should afterwards make me their prisoner, in 
New Spain, where an Englishman was certain to lose his life, 
what necessity or what accident soever brought him thither; 
and that I had rather be delivered up to the savages, and be 
devoured alive. I added, that otherwise I was persuaded, if 
they were all here, we might, with so many hands, build a bark 



large enough to carry us all away, either to the Brazils, south- 
v/ard, or to the islands, or Spanish coast, northward; but that 
if, in requital, they should, when I had put weapons into their 
hands, carry me by force among their own people, I might be ill 
used for my kindness to them, and make my case worse than 
it was before. 

He answered, with a great deal of candor and ingenuity, 
that their condition was so miserable, and they were so sen- 
sible of it, that he believed they would abhor the thought of 
using any man unkindly that should contribute to their de- 
liverance; and that, if I pleased, he would go to them with the 
old man, and discourse with them about it, and return again, 
and bring me their answer; that he would make conditions 
witli them upon their solemn oath that they should be absolutely 
under my leading, as their commander and captain; and that 
they should swear upon the holy sacraments and the gospel 
to be true to me, and to go to such Christian country as that 
I should agree to, and no other, and to be wholly and absolutely 
by my orders till they were landed safety in such country as 
I intended; and that he would bring a contract from them, 
under their hands, for that purpose. 

Then he told me he would first swear to me himself, that 
he would never stir from me as long as he lived till I gave him 
orders ; and that he would take my side to the last drop of his 
blood, if there should happen the least breach of faith among 
his countrymen. 

He told me they were all of them very civil, honest men, 
and they were under the greatest distress imaginable, having 



neither weapons nor clothes, nor any food, but at the mercy 
and discretion of the savages ; out of all hopes of ever returning 
to their own country; and that he was sure, if I would under- 
take their relief, thejr would live and die by me. 

Upon these assurances, I resolved to venture to relieve 
them, if possible, and to send the old savage and this Span- 
iard over to them to treat. But when we had gotten all things 
in readiness to go, the Spaniard himself started an objection, 
which had so much prudence in it on one hand, and so much sin- 
cerity on the other hand, that I could not but be very well 
satisfied in it, and by his advice put off the deliverance of his 
comrades for at least half a year. The case was thus: 

He had been with us now about a month, during which 
time I had let him see in what manner I had provided, with the 
assistance of Providence, for my support; and he saw evi- 
dently what stock of corn and rice I had laid up ; which, as it 
was more than sufficient for myself, so it was not sufficient, 
at least without good husbandry, for my family, now it was in- 
creased to number four; but much less would it be sufficient 
if his countrymen, who were, as he said, fourteen, still alive, 
should come over; and least of all would it be sufficient to 
victual our vessel, if we should build one, for a voyage to 
any of the Christian colonies of America. So he told me he 
thought it would be more advisable to let him and the two others 
dig and cultivate some more land, as much as I could spare 
seed to sow; and that we should wait another harvest, that 
we might have a supply of corn for his countrymen when they 
should come; for want might be a temptation to them to dis- 



agree, or not to think themselves delivered, otherwise than out 
of one difficulty into another. "You know," says he, "the 
children of Israel, though they rejoiced at first for their being 
delivered out of Egypt, yet rebelled even against God Him- 
self, that delivered them, when they came to want bread in the 

His caution was so seasonable, and his advice so good, that 
I could not but be very well pleased with his proposal, as well 
as I was satisfied with his fidelity. So we fell to digging all 
four of us, as well as the wooden tools we were furnished with 
permitted; and in about a month's time, by the end of which 
it was seed-time, we had gotten as much land cured and 
trimmed up as we sowed twenty-two bushels of barley on, and 
sixteen jars of rice; which was, in short, all the seed we had to 
spare; nor, indeed, did we leave ourselves barley sufficient for 
our own food for the six months that we had to expect our 
crop; that is to say, reckoning from the time we set our seed 
aside for sowing; for it is not to be supposed it is six months 
in the ground in that country. 

Having now society enough, and our number being suffi- 
cient to put us out of fear of the savages, if they had come, 
unless their number had been very great, we went freely all 
over the island, whenever we found occasion ; and as here we had 
our escape or deliverance upon our thoughts, it was impossible, 
at least for me, to have the means of it out of mine. To this 
purpose I marked out several trees which I thought fit for our 
work, and I set Friday and his father to cutting them down; 
and then I caused the Spaniard, to whom I imparted my 



thought on that affair, to oversee and direct their work. I 
showed them with what indefatigable pains I had hewed a large 
tree into single planks, and I caused them to do the like, till 
they had made about a dozen large planks of good oak, near 
two feet broad, thirty-five feet long, and from two inches to 
four inches thick. What prodigious labor it took up, any 
one may imagine. 

At the same time, I contrived to increase my little flock 
of tame goats as much as I could ; and to this purpose I made 
Friday and the Spaniard go out one day, and myself with 
Friday the next day, for we took our turns, and by this means 
we got about twenty young kids to breed up with the rest, 
for whenever we shot the dam, we saved the kids, and added 
them to our flock. But above all, the season for curing the 
grapes coming on, I caused such a prodigious quantity to be 
hung up in the sun, that I believe, had we been at Alicant, 
where the raisins of the sun are cured, we could have filled 
sixty or eighty barrels ; and these, with our bread, was a great 
part of our food, and very good living too, I assure you ; for it 
is an exceeding nourishing food. 

It was now harvest, and our crop in good order. It was 
not the most plentiful increase I had seen in the island, but, 
however, it was enough to answer our end ; for from our twenty- 
two bushels we brought in and thrashed out above two hundred 
and twenty bushels, and the like in proportion of the rice ; which 
was store enough for our food to the next harvest, though all 
the sixteen Spaniards had been on shore with me; or if we 
had been ready for a voyage it would very plentifully have 



victualled our ship to have carried us to any part of the world, 
that is to say, of America. 

When we had thus housed and secured our magazine of 
corn, we fell to work to make more wicker-work, viz., great 
baskets, in which we kept it; and the Spaniard was very handy 
and dexterous at this part, and often blamed me that I did 
not make some things for defense of this kind of work; but 
I saw no need of it. 

And now having a full supply of food for all the guests I 
expected, I gave the Spaniard leave to go over to the main, to 
see what he could do with those he had left behind him there. 
I gave him a strict charge in writing not to bring any man 
with him who would not first swear, in the presence of him- 
self and of the old savage, that he would no way injure, fight 
with, or attack the person he should find in the island, who was 
so kind to send for them in order to their deliverance ; but that 
they would stand by and defend him against all such at- 
tempts, and wherever they went would be entirely under and 
subjected to his commands; and that this should be put in 
writing, and signed with their hands. How we were to have 
this done, when I knew they had neither pen nor ink, that in- 
deed was a question which we never asked. 

Under these instructions, the Spaniard and the old sav- 
age, the father of Friday, went away in one of the canoes which 
they might be said to come in, or rather were brought in, when 
they came as prisoners to be devoured by the savages. 

I gave each of them a musket, with a firelock on it, and 
about eight charges of powder and ball, charging them to be 



very good husbands of both, and not to use either of them but 
upon urgent occasion. 

This was a cheerful work, being the first measures used by 
me, in view of my deliverance, for now twenty-seven years and 
some days. I gave them provisions of bread and of dried 
grapes sufficient for themselves for many days, and sufficient 
for all their countrymen for about eight days' time ; and wish- 
ing them a good voyage, I saw them go, agreeing with them 
about a signal they should hang out at their return, by which 
I should know them again, when they came back, at a distance, 
before they came on shore. 

They went away with a fair gale on the day that the 
moon was at full, by my account in the month of October; 
but as for an exact reckoning of days, after I had once lost it, 
I could never recover it again; nor had I kept even the num- 
ber of years so punctually as to be sure that I was right, 
though as it proved, when I afterwards examined my account, 
I found I had kept a true reckoning of years. 

It was no less than eight days I had waited for them, when 
a strange and unforeseen accident intervened, of which the like 
has not perhaps been heard of in history. I was fast asleep in 
my hutch one morning, when my man Friday came running in 
to me, and called aloud, "Master, master, they are come, they 
are come!" 

I jumped up, and, regardless of danger, I went out as soon 
as I could get my clothes on, through my little grove, which, 
by the way, was by this time grown to be a very thick wood; 
I say, regardless of danger, I went without my arms, which 



was not my custom to do; but I was surprised when, turning 
my eyes to the sea, I presently saw a boat at about a league and 
a half's distance standing in for the shore, with a shoulder-of- 
mutton sail, as they call it, and the wind blowing pretty fair to 
bring them in ; also I observed presently that they did not come 
from that side which the shore lay on, but from the southern- 
most end of the island. Upon this I called Friday in, and bid 
him lie close, for these were not the people we looked for, and 
that we might not know yet whether they were friends or 

In the next place, I went in to fetch my perspective-glass, 
to see what I could make of them ; and having taken the ladder 
out, I climbed up to the top of the hill, as I used to do when 
I was apprehensive of anything, and to take my view the 
plainer, without being discovered. 

I had scarce set my foot on the hill, when my eye plainly 
discovered a ship lying at an anchor at about two leagues and 
a half's distance from me, south-south-east, but not above a 
league and a half from the shore. By my observation, it ap- 
peared plainly to be an English ship, and the boat appeared 
to be an English longboat. 

I cannot express the confusion I was in; though the joy 
of seeing a ship, and one who I had reason to believe was 
manned by my own countrymen, and consequently friends, was 
such as I cannot describe. But yet I had some secret doubts 
hung about me I cannot tell from whence they came, bidding me 
keep upon my guard. In the first place, it occurred to me to 
consider what business an English ship could have in that 



part of the world, since it was not the way to or from any part 
of the world where the English had any traffic; and I knew 
there had been no storms to drive them in there as in distress; 
and that if they were English really, it was most probable that 
they were here upon no good design; and that I had 
better continue as I was, than fall into the hands of thieves 
and murderers. 

Let no man despise the secret hints and notices of danger 
which sometimes are given him when he may think there is no 
possibility of its being real. That such hints and notices are 
given us, I believe few that have made any observation of 
things can deny; that they are certain discoveries of an in- 
visible world, and a converse of spirits, we cannot doubt; and 
if the tendency of them seems to be to warn us of danger, why 
should we not suppose they are from some friendly agent, 
whether supreme, or inferior and subordinate, is not the ques- 
tion, and that they are given for our good? 

The present question abundantly confirms me in the jus- 
tice of this reasoning ; for had I not been made cautious by this 
secret admonition, come it from whence it will, I had been 
undone inevitably, and in a far worse condition than before, as 
you will see presently. 

I had not kept myself long in this posture, but I saw the 
boat draw near the shore, as if they looked for a creek to 
thrust in at, for the convenience of landing. However, as 
they did not come quite far enough, they did not see the little 
inlet where I formerly landed my rafts; but ran their boat on 
shore upon the beach, at about half a mile from me, which was 



very happy for me; for otherwise they would have landed 
just, as I may say, at my door, and would soon have beaten 
me out of my castle, and perhaps have plundered me of all 
I had. 

When they were on shore, I was fully satisfied that they 
were Englishmen, at least most of them; one or two I thought 
were Dutch, but it did not prove so. There were in all eleven 
men, whereof three of them I found were unarmed, and, as 
I thought, bound ; and when the first four or five of them were 
jumped on shore, they took those three out of the boat, as 
prisoners. One of the three I could perceive using the most 
passionate gestures of entreaty, affliction, and despair, even to 
a kind of extravagance ; the other two, I could perceive, lifted 
up their hands sometimes, and appeared concerned indeed, but 
not to such a degree as the first. 

I was perfectly confounded at the sight, and knew not what 
the meaning of it should be. Friday called out to me in Eng- 
lish as well as he could, "O master! you see English mans eat 
prisoner as well as savage mans." "Why," says I, "Friday, 
do you think they are agoing to eat them then?" "Yes," says 
Friday, "they will eat them." "No, no," says I, "Friday, I 
am afraid they will murder them, indeed, but you may be sure 
they will not eat them." 

All this while I had no thought of what the matter really 
was, but stood trembling with the horror of the sight, expect- 
ing every moment when the three prisoners should be killed; 
nay, once I saw one of the villains lift up his arm with a great 
cutlass, as the seamen call it, or sword, to strike one of the 



poor men; and I expected to see him fall every moment, 
at which all the blood in my body seemed to run chill in 
my veins. 

I wished heartily now for my Spaniard, and the savage that 
was gone with him ; or that I had any way to have come undis- 
covered within shot of them, that I might have rescued the 
three men, for I saw no firearms they had among them; but 
it fell out to my mind another way. 

After I had observed the outrageous usage of the three 
men by the insolent seamen, I observed the fellows run scat- 
tering about the land, as if they wanted to see the country. I 
observed that the three other men had liberty to go also where 
they pleased; but they sat down all three upon the ground, 
very pensive, and looked like men in despair. 

This put me in mind of the first time when I came on shore, 
and began to look about me ; how I gave myself over for lost ; 
how wildly I looked round me; what dreadful apprehensions 
I had ; and how I lodged in the tree all night, for fear of being 
devoured by wild beasts. 

As I knew nothing that night of the supply I was to receive 
by the providential driving of the ship nearer the land by the 
storms and tide, by which I have since been so long nourished 
and supported; so these three poor desolate men knew nothing 
how certain of deliverance and supply they were, how near 
it was to them, and how effectually and really they were in 
a condition of safety, at the same time that they thought them- 
selves lost, and their case desperate. 

So little do we see before us in the world, and so much 



reason have we to depend cheerfully upon the great Maker of 
the world, that He does not leave His creatures so absolutely 
destitute, but that, in the worst circumstances, they have al- 
ways something to be thankful for, and sometimes are nearer 
their deliverance than they imagine; nay, are even brought to 
their deliverance by the means by which they seem to be brought 
to their destruction. 



Robinson Discovers Himself to the English Captain — Assists Him 
In Reducing His Mutinous Crew, Who Submit to Him 

T was just at the top of high-water when these people came 
on shore; and while partly they stood parleying with the 
prisoners they brought, and partly while they rambled 
about to see what kind of a place they were in, they had care- 
lessly stayed till the tide was spent, and the water was ebbed 
considerably away, leaving their boat aground. 

They had left two men in the boat, who, as I found after- 
wards, having drank a little too much brandy, fell asleep. 
However, one of them waking sooner than the other, and find- 
ing the boat too fast aground for him to stir it, hallooed for 
the rest, who were straggling about, upon which they all soon 
came to the boat; but it was past all their strength to launch 
her, the boat being very heavy, and the shore on that side being 
a soft oozy sand, almost like a quicksand. 

In this condition, like true seamen, who are perhaps the 
least of all mankind given to forethought, they gave it over, 
and away they strolled about the country again; and I heard 
one of them say aloud to another, calling them off from the 
boat, "Why, let her alone, Jack, can't ye? she will float next 
tide;" by which I was fully confirmed in the main inquiry of 
what countrymen they were. 

All this while I kept myself very close, not once daring 



to stir out of my castle, any farther than to my place of ob- 
servation near the top of the hill ; and very glad I was to think 
how well it was fortified. I knew it was no less than ten hours 
before the boat could be on float again, and by that time it would 
be dark, and I might be at more liberty to see their motions, and 
to hear their discourse, if they had any. 

In the meantime, I fitted myself up for a battle, as before, 
though with more caution, knowing I had to do with another 
kind of enemy than I had at first. I ordered Friday also, 
whom I had made an excellent marksman with his gun, to load 
himself with arms. I took myself two fowling-pieces, and I 
gave him three muskets. My figure, indeed, was very fierce. 
I had my formidable goat-skin coat on, with the great cap I 
have mentioned, a naked sword by my side, two pistols in my 
belt, and a gun upon each shoulder. 

It was my design, as I said above, not to have made any 
attempt till it was dark; but about two o'clock, being the heat 
of the day, I found that, in short, they were all gone straggling 
into the wood, and, as I thought, were laid down to sleep. The 
three poor distressed men, too anxious for their condition to 
get any sleep, were, however, set down under the shelter of a 
great tree, at about a quarter of a mile from me, and, as I 
thought, out of sight of any of the rest. 

Upon this I resolved to discover myself to them, and learn 
something of their condition. Immediately I marched in the 
figure as above, my man Friday at a good distance behind me, 
as formidable for his arms as I, but not making quite so 
staring a spectre-like figure as I did. 



I came as near them undiscovered as I could, and then, be- 
fore any of them saw me, I called aloud to them in Spanish, 
"What are ye, gentlemen?" 

They started up at the noise, but were ten times more con- 
founded when they saw me, and the uncouth figure that I made. 
They made no answer at all, but I thought I perceived them 
just going to fly from me, when I spoke to them in English. 
"Gentlemen," said I, "do not be surprised at me; perhaps 
you may have a friend near you, when you did not expect it." 
"He must be sent directly from heaven then," said one of 
them very gravely to me, and pulling off his hat at the same 
time to me, "for our condition is past the help of man." "All 
help is from heaven, sir," said I. "But can you put a stranger 
in the way how to help you, for you seem to me to be in some 
great distress? I saw you when you landed; and when you 
seemed to make applications to the brutes that came with you, I 
saw one of them lift up his sword to kill you." 

The poor man, with tears running down his face, and trem- 
bling, looking like one astonished, returned, "Am I talking to 
God, or man? Is it a real man, or an angel?" "Be in no 
fear about that, sir," said I. "If God had sent an angel to 
relieve you, he would have come better clothed, and armed 
after another manner than you see me in. Pray lay aside your 
fears ; I am a man, an Englishman, and disposed to assist you, 
you see. I have one servant only; we have arms and am- 
munition; tell us freely, can we serve you? What is your 

"Our case." said he, "sir, is too long to tell you while 



our murderers are so near; but in short, sir, I was commander 
of that ship ; my men have mutinied against me, they have been 
hardly prevailed on not to murder me ; and at last have set me 
on shore in this desolate place, with these two men with me, 
one my mate, the other a passenger, where we expected to per- 
ish, believing the place to be uninhabited, and know not yet 
what to think of it." 

"Where are those brutes, your enemies?" said I, "Do you 
know where they are gone?" "There they lie, sir," said he, 
pointing to a thicket of trees. "My heart trembles for fear 
they have seen us, and heard you speak. If they have, they will 
certainly murder us all." 

"Have they any firearms?" said I. He answered, "They 
have only two pieces, and one which they left in the boat." 
"Well then," said I, "leave the rest to me, I see they are all 
asleep ; it is an easy thing to kill them all ; but shall we rather 
take them prisoners?" He told me there were two desperate 
villains among them that it was scarce safe to show any mercy 
to ; but if they were secured, he believed all the rest would re- 
turn to their duty. I asked him which they were? He told me 
he could not at that distance describe them, but he would obey 
my orders in anything I would direct. "Well," says I, "let us 
retreat out of their view or hearing, lest they awake, and we 
will resolve farther." So they willingly went back with me, 
till the woods covered us from them. 

"Look you, sir," said I, "if I venture upon your deliver- 
ance, are you willing to make two conditions with me?" He 
anticipated my proposals, by telling me that both he and the 



ship, if recovered, should be wholly directed and commanded 
by me in everything; and if the ship was not recovered, he 
would live and die with me in what part of the world soever 
I would send him ; and the two other men said the same. 

"Well," says I, "my conditions are but two. 1. That while 
you stay on this island with me, you will not pretend to any 
authority here; and if I put arms into your hands, you will, 
upon all occasions, give them up to me, and do no prejudice 
to me or mine upon this island; and in the meantime, be gov- 
erned by my orders. 2. That if the ship is, or may be, recov- 
ered, you will carry me and my man to England, passage free." 

He gave me all the assurances that the invention and faith 
of man could devise that he would comply with these most rea- 
sonable demands; and, besides, would owe his life to me, and 
acknowledge it upon all occasions, as long as he lived. 

"Well then," said I, "here are three muskets for you, with 
powder and ball; tell me next what you think is proper to be 
done." He showed all the testimony of his gratitude that he 
was able, but offered to be wholly guided by me. I told him 
I thought it was hard venturing anything; but the best method 
I could think of was to fire upon them at once, as thej^ lay; and 
if any was not killed at the first volley, and offered to submit, 
we might save them, and so put it wholly upon God's provi- 
dence to direct the shot. 

He said very modestly that he was loth to kill them, if he 
could help it; but that those two were incorrigible villains, and 
had been the authors of all the mutiny in the ship, and if they 
escaped, we should be undone still ; for they would go on board 



and bring the whole ship's company, and destroy us all. "Well 
then," says I, "necessity legitimates my advice, for it is the 
only way to save our lives." However, seeing him still cau- 
tious of shedding blood, I told him they should go themselves, 
and manage as they found convenient. 

In the middle of this discourse we heard some of them 
awake, and soon after we saw two of them on their feet. I 
asked him if either of them were of the men who he had said 
were the heads of the mutiny? He said, "No." "Well then," 
said I, "you may let them escape; and Providence seems to 
have wakened them on purpose to save themselves. Now," 
says I, "if the rest escape you, it is your fault." 

Animated by this, he took the musket I had given him in 
his hand, and a pistol in his belt, and his two comrades with 
him, with each man a piece in his hand. The two men who 
were with him going first made some noise, at which one of the 
seamen who was awake turned about, and seeing them coming 
cried out to the rest ; but it was too late then, for the moment he 
cried out they fired; I mean the two men, the captain wisely 
reserving his own piece. They had so well aimed their shot at 
the men they knew, that one of them was killed on the spot, 
and the other very much wounded; but not being dead, he 
started up upon his feet, and called eagerly for help to the 
other. But the captain stepping to him, told him 'twas too late 
to cry for help, he should call upon God to forgive his villainy; 
and with that word knocked him down with the stock of his 
musket, so that he never spoke more. There were three more 
in the company, and one of them was also slightly wounded. 



By this time I was come ; and when they saw their danger, and 
that it was in vain to resist, they begged for mercy. The 
captain told them he would spare their lives if they would give 
him any assurance of their abhorrence of the treachery they 
had been guilty of, and would swear to be faithful to him in 
recovering the ship, and afterwards in carrying her back to 
Jamaica, from whence they came. They gave him all the 
protestations of their sincerity that could be desired, and he was 
willing to believe them, and spare their lives, which I was not 
against, only I obliged him to keep them bound hand and foot 
while they were upon the island. 

While this was doing, I sent Friday with the captain's mate 
to the boat, with orders to secure her, and bring away the oars 
and sail, which they did; and by and by three straggling men, 
that were (happily for them) parted from the rest, came back 
upon hearing the guns fired ; and seeing their captain, who be- 
fore was their prisoner, now their conqueror, they submitted 
to be bound also, and so our victory was complete. 

It now remained that the captain and I should inquire into 
one another's circumstances. I began first, and told him my 
whole history, which he heard with an attention even to amaze- 
ment; and particularly at the wonderful manner of my being 
furnished with provisions and ammunition ; and, indeed, as my 
story is a whole collection of wonders, it affected him deeply. 
But when he reflected from thence upon himself, and how I 
seemed to have been preserved there on purpose to save his 
life, the tears ran down his face, and he could not speak a 
word more. 



After this communication was at an end, I carried him and 
his two men into my apartment, leading them in just where I 
came out, viz., at the top of the house, where I refreshed them 
with such provisions as I had, and showed them all the con- 
trivances I had made during my long, long inhabiting that 

All I showed them, all I said to them, was perfectly amaz- 
ing; but above all, the captain admired my fortification, and 
how perfectly I had concealed my retreat with a grove of trees, 
which, having been now planted near twenty years, and the 
trees growing much faster than in England, was become a little 
wood, and so thick, that it was unpassable in any part of it but 
at that one side w T here I had reserved my little winding passage 
into it. I told him this was my castle and my residence, but 
that I had a seat in the country, as most princes have, whither 
I could retreat upon occasion, and I would show him that too 
another time ; but at present, our business was to consider how 
to recover the ship. He agreed with me as to that but told me 
he was perfectly at a loss what measures to take, for that there 
were still six and twenty hands on board, who having entered 
into a cursed conspiracy, by which they had all forfeited their 
lives to the law, would be hardened in it now by desperation, 
and would carry it on, knowing that if they were reduced, they 
should be brought to the gallows as soon as they came to Eng- 
land, or to any of the English colonies ; and that therefore there 
would be no attacking them with so small a number as we were. 

I mused for some time upon what he said, and found it was 
a very rational conclusion, and that therefore something was 



to be resolved on very speedily, as well to draw the men on 
board into some snare for their surprise, as to prevent their 
landing upon us, and destroying us. Upon this it presently oc- 
curred to me that in a little while the ship's crew, wondering 
what was become of their comrades, and of the boat, would cer- 
tainly come on shore in their other boat to see for them; and 
that then, perhaps, they might come armed, and be too strong 
for us. This he allowed was rational. 

Upon this, I told him the first thing we had to do was to 
stave the boat, which lay upon the beach, so that they might 
not carry her off ; and taking everything out of her, leave her so 
far useless as not to be fit to swim. Accordingly we went on 
board, took the arms which were left on board out of her, and 
what else we found there, which was a bottle of brandy, and 
another of rum, a few biscuit-cakes, a horn of powder, and a 
great lump of sugar in a piece of canvas — the sugar was five 
or six pounds ; all of which was very welcome to me, especially 
the brandy and sugar, of which I had had none left for many 

When we had carried all these things on shore (the oars, 
mast, sail, and rudder of the boat were carried away before, 
as above), we knocked a great hole in her bottom that if they 
had come strong enough to master us, yet they could not carry 
off the boat. 

Indeed, it was not much in my thoughts that we could 
be able to recover the ship; but my view was, that if they 
went away without the boat, I did not much question to make 
her fit again to carry us away to the Leeward Islands, and 



call upon our friends the Spaniards in my way; for I had 
them still in my thoughts. 

While we were thus preparing our designs, and had first, 
by main strength, heaved the boat up upon the beach so high 
that the tide would not float her off at high-water mark; and 
besides, had broke a hole in her bottom too big to be quickly 
stopped, and were sat down musing what we should do, we 
heard the ship fire a gun, and saw her make a waft with her flag 
as a signal for the boat to come on board. But no boat stirred ; 
and they fired several times, making other signals for the boat. 

At last when all their signals and firings proved fruitless, 
and they found the boat did not stir, we saw them, by the 
help of my glasses, hoist another boat out, and row towards 
the shore ; and we found, as they approached, that there was no 
less than ten men in her, and that they had firearms with them. 

As the ship lay almost two leagues from the shore we had 
a full view of them as they came, and a plain sight of the men, 
even of their faces ; because the tide having set them a little to 
the east of the other boat, they rowed up under shore, to come 
to the same place where the other had landed, and where the 
boat lay. 

By this means, I say, we had a full view of them, and the 
captain knew the persons and characters of all the men in the 
boat, of whom he said that there were three very honest fellows, 
who, he was sure, were led into this conspiracy by the rest, be- 
ing overpowered and frightened; but that as for the boatswain, 
who, it seems, was the chief officer among them, and all the rest, 
they were as outrageous as any of the ship's crew, and were no 



doubt made desperate in their new enterprise ; and terribly ap- 
prehensive he was that they would be too powerful for us. 

I smiled at him, and told him that men in our circum- 
stances were past the operation of fear; that seeing almost 
every condition that could be was better than that which we 
were supposed to be in, we ought to expect that the conse- 
quence, whether death or life, would be sure to be a deliver- 
ance. I asked him what he thought of the circumstances of my 
life, and whether a deliverance were not worth venturing for? 
"And where, sir," said I, "is your belief of my being preserved 
here on purpose to save your life which elevated you a little 
while ago? For my part," said I, "there seems to be but one 
thing amiss in all the prospect of it." "What's that?" said he. 
"Why," said I, " 'tis that, as you say, there are three or four 
honest fellows among them, which should be spared; had they 
been all of the wicked part of the crew I should have thought 
God's providence had singled them out to deliver them into 
your hands ; for depend upon it, every man of that that comes 
ashore are our own, and shall die or live as they behave to us." 

As I spoke this with a raised voice and cheerful coun- 
tenance, I found it greatly encouraged him; so we set vig- 
orously to our business. We had, upon the first appearance of 
the boat's coming from the ship, considered of separating our 
prisoners, and had, indeed, secured them effectually. 

Two of them, of whom the captain was less assured than 
ordinary, I sent with Friday and one of the three delivered men 
to my cave, where they were remote enough, and out of danger 



of being heard or discovered, or of finding their way out of the 
woods if they could have delivered themselves. Here they 
left them bound, but gave them provisions, and promised them, 
if they continued there quietly, to give them their liberty in a 
day or two ; but that if they attempted their escape, they should 
be put to death without mercy. They promised faithfully to 
bear their confinement with patience, and were very thankful 
that they had such good usage as to have provisions and a light 
left them; for Friday gave them candles (such as we made 
ourselves) for their comfort; and they did not know but that he 
stood sentinel over them at the entrance. 

The other prisoners had better usage. Two of them were 
kept pinioned, indeed, because the captain was not free to 
trust them ; but the other two were taken into my service, upon 
their captain's recommendation, and upon their solemnly en- 
gaging to live and die with us; so with them and the three 
honest men we were seven men well armed; and I made no 
doubt we should be able to deal well enough with the ten that 
were a-coming, considering that the captain had said there 
were three or four honest men among them also. 

As soon as they got to the place where their other boat 
lay, they ran their boat into the beach, and came all on shore, 
hauling the boat up after them, which I was glad to see; for 
I was afraid they would rather have left the boat at an anchor 
some distance from the shore, with some hands in her to guard 
her, and so we should not be able to seize the boat. 

Being on shore, the first thing they did was to run to 



their other boat; and it was easy to see that they were under 
a great surprise to find her stripped, as above, of all that was 
in her, and a great hole in her bottom. 

After they had mused a while upon this, they set up two 
or three great shouts, hallooing with all their might, to try 
if they could make their companions hear; but all was to no 
purpose. Then they came all close in a ring, and fired a volley 
of their small arms, which, indeed, we heard, and the echoes 
made the woods ring. But it was all one; those in the cave 
we were sure could not hear, and those in our keeping, though 
they heard it well enough, yet durst give no answer to them. 

They were so astonished at the surprise of this, that, as 
they told us afterwards, they resolved to go all on board again, 
to their ship, and let them know there that the men were all 
murdered, and the longboat staved. Accordingly, they im- 
mediately launched their boat again, and got all of them on 

The captain was terribly amazed, and even confounded at 
this, believing they would go on board the ship again, and set 
sail, giving their comrades for lost, and so he should still lose 
the ship, which he was in hopes we should have recovered; but 
he was quickly ac much frightened the other way. 

They had not been long put off with the boat but we per- 
ceived them all coming on shore again ; but with this new meas- 
ure in their conduct, which it seems they consulted together 
upon, viz., to leave three men in the boat, and the rest to go 
on shore, and go up into the country to look for their fellows. 

This was a great disappointment to us, for now we were at 



a loss what to do; for our seizing those seven men on shore 
would be no advantage to us if we let the boat escape, because 
they would then row away to the ship, and then the rest of them 
would be sure to weigh and set sail, and so our recovering the 
ship would be lost. However, we had no remedy but to wait 
and see what the issue of things might present. The seven 
men came on shore, and the three who remained in the boat 
put her off to a good distance from the shore, and came to 
an anchor to wait for them; so that it was impossible for us 
to come at them in the boat. 

Those that came on shore kept close together, marching 
towards the top of the little hill under which my habitation 
lay ; and we could see them plainly, though they could not per- 
ceive us. We could have been very glad they would have come 
nearer to us, so that we might have fired at them, or that they 
would have gone farther off, that we might have come abroad. 

But when they were come to the brow of the hill, where 
they could see a great way into the valleys and woods which lay 
towards the north-east part, and where the island lay lowest, 
they shouted and hallooed till they were weary; and not car- 
ing, it seems, to venture far from the shore, nor far from one 
another, they sat down together under a tree, to consider of it. 
Had they thought fit to have gone to sleep there, as the other 
party of them had done, they had done the job for us ; but they 
were too full of apprehensions of danger to venture to go to 
sleep, though they could not tell what the danger was they had 
to fear neither. 

The captain made a very just proposal to me upon this 



consultation of theirs, viz., that perhaps they would all fire a 
volley again, to endeavor to make their fellows hear, and that 
we should all sally upon them, just at the juncture when their 
pieces were all discharged, and they would certainly yield, and 
we should have them without bloodshed. I liked the proposal, 
provided it was done while we were near enough to come up 
to them before they could load their pieces again. 

But this event did not happen, and we lay still a long time, 
very irresolute what course to take. At length I told them 
there would be nothing to be done, in my opinion, till night; 
and then, if they did not return to the boat, perhaps we might 
find a way to get between them and the shore, and so might 
use some stratagem with them in the boat to get them on shore. 

We waited a great while, though very impatient for their 
removing ; and were very uneasy when, after long consultations, 
we saw them start all up, and march down toward the sea. It 
seems they had such dreadful apprehensions upon them of the 
danger of the place, that they resolved to go on board the ship 
again, give their companions over for lost, and so go on with 
their intended voyage with the ship. 

As soon as I perceived them go towards the shore, I im- 
agined it to be, as it really was, that they had given over their 
search, and were for going back again ; and the captain, as soon 
as I told him my thoughts, was ready to sink at the apprehen- 
sions of it; but I presently thought of a stratagem to fetch 
them back again, and which answered my end to a tittle. 

I ordered Friday and the captain's mate to go over the 



little creek westward, towards the place where the savages came 
on shore when Friday was rescued, and as soon as they came to 
a little rising ground, at about half a mile distance, I bade 
them halloo as loud as they could, and wait till they found the 
seamen heard them; that as soon as ever they heard the sea- 
men answer them, they should return it again ; and then keep- 
ing out of sight, take a round, always answering when the 
others hallooed, to draw them as far into the island, and among 
the woods, as possible, and then wheel about again to me by 
such ways as I directed them. 

They were just going into the boat when Friday and the 
mate halloed; and they presently heard them, and answering, 
ran along the shore westward, towards the voice they heard, 
when they were presently stopped by the creek, where the 
water being up, they could not get over, and called for the boat 
to come up and set them over, as, indeed, I expected. 

When they had set themselves over, I observed that the 
boat being gone up a good way into the creek, and, as it were, 
in a harbor within the land, they took one of the three men out 
of her to go along with them, and left only two in the boat, 
having fastened her to the stump of a little tree on the shore. 

That was what I wished for; and immediately, leaving 
Friday and the captain's mate to their business, I took the rest 
with me, and crossing the creek out of their sight, we surprised 
the two men before they were aware; one of them lying on 
shore, and the other being in the boat. The fellow on shore 
was between sleeping and waking, and going to start up. The 



captain, who was foremost, ran in upon him, and knocked him 
down, and then called out to him in the boat to yield, or he was 
a dead man. 

There needed very few arguments to persuade a single man 
to yield when he saw five men upon him, and his comrade 
knocked down ; besides, this was, it seems, one of the three who 
were not so hearty in the mutiny as the rest of the crew and 
therefore was easily persuaded not only to yield but afterwards 
to join very sincerely with us. 

In the meantime Friday and the captain's mate so well 
managed their business with the rest that they drew them, by 
hallooing and answering, from one hill to another, and from 
one wood to another, till they not only heartily tired them, but 
left them where they were very sure they could not reach back 
to the boat before it was dark ; and, indeed, they were heartily 
tired themselves also by the time they came back to us. 

We had nothing now to do but to watch for them in the 
dark, and to fall upon them, so as to make sure work with 

It was several hours after Friday came back to me before 
they came back to their boat; and we could hear the foremost 
of them, long before they came quite up, calling to those be- 
hind to come along, and could also hear them answer and 
complain how lame and tired they were, and not able to come 
any faster; which was very welcome news to us. 

At length they came up to the boat; but 'tis impossible to 
express their confusion when they found the boat fast aground 
in the creek, the tide ebbed out, and their two men gone. We 



could hear them call to one another in a most lamentable man- 
ner, telling one another they were gotten onto an enchanted 
island ; that either there were inhabitants on it, and they should 
all be murdered, or else there were devils and spirits on it, and 
they should be all carried away and devoured. 

They hallooed again, and called their two comrades by their 
names a great many times; but no answer. After some time 
we could see them, by the little light there was, run about, 
wringing their hands like men in despair, and that sometimes 
they would go and sit down in the boat to rest themselves; 
then come ashore again, and walk about again, and so the same 
thing over again. 

My men would fain have me give them leave to fall upon 
them at once in the dark; but I was willing to take them at 
some advantage, so to spare them, and kill as few of them as 
I could; and especially I was unwilling to hazard the killing 
any of our own men, knowing the others were very well armed. 
I resolved to wait, to see if they did not separate; and, there- 
fore, to make sure of them, I drew my ambuscade nearer, and 
ordered Friday and the captain to creep upon their hands and 
feet, as close to the ground as they could, that they might not 
be discovered, and get as near them as they could possibly, be- 
fore they offered to fire. 

They had not been long in that posture but that the boat- 
swain, who was the principal ringleader of the mutiny, and had 
now shown himself the most dejected and dispirited of all the 
rest, came walking towards them, with two more of their crew. 
The captain was so eager, as having this principal rogue so 



much in his power, that he could hardly have patience to let 
him come so near as to be sure of him, for they only heard 
his tongue before; but when they came nearer, the captain 
and Friday, starting up on their feet, let fly at them. 

The boatswain was killed upon the spot ; the next man was 
shot into the body, and fell just by him, though he did not 
die till an hour or two after ; and the third ran for it. 

At the noise of the fire I immediately advanced with my 
whole army, which was now eight men, viz., myself, gen- 
eralissimo ; Friday, my lieutenant-general ; the captain and his 
two men, and the three prisoners of war, whom we had trusted 
with arms. 

We came upon them, indeed, in the dark, so that they could 
not see our number; and I made the man we, had left in the 
boat, who was now one of us, call to them by name, to try if 
I could bring them to a parley, and so might perhaps reduce 
them to terms, which fell out just as we desired; for indeed it 
was easy to think, as their condition then was, they would be 
very willing to capitulate. So he calls out as loud as he could 
to one of them, "Tom Smith! Tom Smith!" Tom Smith 
answered immediately, "Who's that? Robinson?" For it 
seems he knew his voice. The other answered, "Ay, ay; for 
God's sake, Tom Smith, throw down your arms and yield, or 
you are all dead men this moment." 

"Who must we yield to? Where are they?" says Smith 
again. "Here they are," says he; "here's our captain, and 
fifty men with him, have been hunting you this two hours ; the 



boatswain is killed, Will Frye is wounded, and I am a prisoner ; 
and if you do not yield, you are all lost." 

"Will they give us quarter then," says Tom Smith, "and 
we will yield?" "I'll go and ask, if you promise to yield," 
says Robinson. So he asked the captain, and the captain then 
calls himself out, "You, Smith, you know my voice, if you lay 
down your arms immediately, and submit, you shall have your 
lives, all but Will Atkins." 



Atkvns Entreats the Captain to Spare His Life — The Latter Recovers 
His Vessel from the Mutineers, and Robinson Leaves the Island 

UPON this Will Atkins cried out, "For God's sake, cap- 
tain, give me quarter; what have I done? They have 
been all as bad as I" ; which, by the way, was not true 
neither; for, it seems, this Will Atkins was the first man that 
laid hold of the captain when they first mutinied, and used him 
barbarously, in tying his hands, and giving him injurious lan- 
guage. However, the captain told him he must lay down his 
arms at discretion, and trust to the governor's mercy ; by which 
he meant me, for they all called me governor. 

In a word they all laid down their arms, and begged their 
lives; and I sent the man that had parleyed with them and 
two more, who bound them all; and then my great army of 
fifty men, which, particularly with those three, were all but 
eight, came up and seized upon them all, and upon their boat; 
only that I kept myself and one more out of sight for reasons 
of state. 

Our next work was to repair the boat, and think of seizing 
the ship ; and as for the captain, now he had leisure to parley 
with them, he expostulated with them upon the villainy of their 
practices with him, and at length upon the farther wickedness 
of their design, and how certainly it must bring them to misery 
and distress in the end, and perhaps to the gallows. 



They all appeared very penitent, and begged hard for their 
lives. As for that, he told them they were none of his prison- 
ers, but the commander of the island; that they thought they 
had set him on shore in a barren uninhabited island; but it 
had pleased God so to direct them that the island was in- 
habited, and that the governor was an Englishman; that he 
might hang them all there, if he pleased; but as he had given 
them all quarter, he supposed he would send them to England, 
to be dealt with there as justice required, except Atkins, whom 
he was commanded by the governor to advise to prepare for 
death, for that he would be hanged in the morning. 

Though this was all a fiction of his own, yet it had its de- 
sired effect. Atkins fell upon his knees, to beg the captain to 
intercede with the governor for his life ; and all the rest begged 
of him, for God's sake, that they might not be sent to Eng- 

It now occurred to me that the time of our deliverance 
was come, and that it would be a most easy thing to bring these 
fellows in to be hearty in getting possession of the ship; so I 
retired in the dark from them, that they might not see what 
kind of a governor they had, and called the captain to me. 
When I called, as at a good distance, one of the men was or- 
dered to speak again, and say to the captain, "Captain, the 
commander calls for you." And presently the captain replied, 
"Tell his excellency I am just a-coming." This more perfectly 
amazed them, and they all believed that the commander was 
just by with his fifty men. 

Upon the captain's coming to me, I told him my project for 



seizing the ship, which he liked wonderfully well, and resolved 
to put it in execution the next morning. But in order to exe- 
cute it with more art, and secure of success, I told him we 
must divide the prisoners, and that he should go and take 
Atkins and two more of the worst of them, and send them 
pinioned to the cave where the others lay. This was committed 
to Friday and the two men who came on shore with the captain. 

They conveyed them to the cave, as to a prison. And 
it was, indeed, a dismal place, especially to men in their con- 
dition. The others I ordered to my bower, as I called it, of 
which I have given a full description; and as it was fenced in, 
and they pinioned, the place was secure enough, considering 
they were upon their behavior. 

To these in the morning I sent the captain, who was to 
enter into a parley with them ; in a word, to try them, and tell 
me whether he thought they might be trusted or no to go on 
board and surprise the ship. He talked to them of the injury 
done him, of the condition they were brought to; and that 
though the governor had given them quarter for their lives as to 
the present action, yet that if they were sent to England they 
would all be hanged in chains, to be sure ; but that if they would 
join in so just an attempt as to recover the ship, he would have 
the governor's engagement for their pardon. 

Any one may guess how readily such a proposal would be 
accepted by men in their condition. They fell down on their 
knees to the captain, and promised, with the deepest impreca- 
tions, that they would be faithful to him to the last drop, and 
that they should owe their lives to him and would go with 



him all over the world ; that they would own him for a father to 
them as long as they lived. 

"Y/ell," says the captain, "I must go and tell the governor 
what you say, and see what I can do to bring him to consent 
to it." So he brought me an account of the temper he found 
them in, and that he verily believed they would be faithful. 

However, that we might be very secure, I told him he 
should go back again and choose out five of them, and tell them 
they might see that he did not want men, that he would take 
out those five to be his assistants, and that the governor would 
keep the other two and the three that were sent prisoners to 
the castle, my cave, as hostages for the fidelity of those five; 
and that if they proved unfaithful in the execution, the five 
hostages should be hanged in chains alive upon the shore. 

This looked severe, and convinced them that the governor 
was in earnest. However, they had no way left then but to 
accept it ; and it was now the business of the prisoners as much 
as of the captain, to persuade the other five to do their duty. 

Our strength was now thus ordered for the expedition. 
1. The captain, his mate, and passenger. 2. Then the two 
prisoners of the first gang, to whom, having their characters 
from the captain, I had given their liberty, and trusted them 
with arms. 3. The other two whom I had kept till now in 
my bower, pinioned, but upon the captain's motion had now 
released. 4. These five released at last; so that they were 
twelve in all, besides five we kept prisoners in the cave for 

I asked the captain if he was willing to venture with these 



hands on board the ship ; for as for me and my man Friday, I 
did not think it was proper for us to stir, having seven men 
left behind, and it was employment enough for us to keep 
them asunder and supply them with victuals. As to the five 
in the cave, I resolved to keep them fast; but Friday went in 
twice a day to them, to supply them with necessaries, and I 
made the other two carry provisions to a certain distance, where 
Friday was to take it. 

When I showed myself to the two hostages it was with the 
captain, who told them I was the person the governor had or- 
dered to look after them, and that it was the governor's pleas- 
ure they should not stir anywhere but by my direction ; that if 
they did, they should be fetched into the castle, and be laid in 
irons ; so that as we never suffered them to see me as governor, 
so I now appeared as another person, and spoke of the gov- 
ernor, the garrison, the castle, and the like, upon all occasions. 

The captain now had no difficulty before him but to furnish 
his two boats, stop the breach of one, and man them. He made 
his passenger captain of one, with four other men ; and himself, 
and his mate, and five more went in the other; and they con- 
trived their business very well, for they came up to the ship 
about midnight. As soon as they came within call of the ship, 
he made Robinson hail them, and tell them they had brought 
off the men and the boat, but that it was a long time before 
they had found them, and the like, holding them in a chat till 
they came to the ship's side; when the captain and the mate en- 
tering first, with their arms, immediately knocked down the 
second mate and carpenter with the butt-end of their muskets, 



being very faithfully seconded by their men. They secured all 
the rest that were upon the main and quarter-decks, and began 
to fasten the hatches to keep them down who were below; 
when the other boat and their men entering at the forechains, 
secured the forecastle of the ship, and the scuttle which went 
down into the cookroom, making three men they found there 

When this was done, and all safe upon the deck, the captain 
ordered the mate, with three men, to break into the round- 
house, where the new rebel captain lay, and having taken the 
alarm was gotten up, and with two men and a boy had gotten 
firearms in their hands; and when the mate with a crow split 
open the door, the new captain and his men fired boldly among 
them, and wounded the mate with a musket-ball, which broke 
his arm, and wounded two more of the men, but killed no- 

The mate calling for help, rushed however into the round- 
house, wounded as he was, and with his pistol shot the new 
captain through the head, the bullet entering at his mouth and 
came out again behind one of his ears, so that he never spoke a 
word; upon which the rest yielded, and the ship was taken ef- 
fectually, without any more lives lost. 

As soon as the ship was thus secured, the captain ordered 
seven guns to be fired, which was the signal agreed upon with 
me to give me notice of his success, which you may be sure I 
was very glad to hear, having sat watching upon the shore 
for it till near two of the clock in the morning. 

Having thus heard the signal plainly, I laid me down; and 



it having been a day of great fatigue to me, I slept very sound, 
till I was something surprised with the noise of a gun; and 
presently starting up, I heard a man call me by the name of 
"Governor, Governor," and presently I knew the captain's 
voice ; when climbing up to the top of the hill, there he stood, 
and pointing to the ship, he embraced me in his arms. "My 
dear friend and deliverer," says he, "there's your ship, for she is 
all yours, and so are we, and all that belong to her." I cast 
my eyes to the ship, and there she rode within little more than 
half mile of the shore ; for they had weighed her anchor as soon 
as they were masters of her, and the weather being fair, had 
brought her to an anchor just against the mouth of the little 
creek, and the tide being up, the captain had brought the pin- 
nace in near the place where I at first landed my rafts, and so 
landed just at my door. 

I was at first ready to sink down with the surprise; for 
I saw my deliverance, indeed, visibly put into my hands, all 
things easy, and a large ship just ready to carry me away 
whither I pleased to go. At first, for some time I was not able 
to answer him one word; but as he had taken me in his arms, 
I held fast by him, or I should have fallen to the ground. 

He perceived the surprise, and immediately pulled a bottle 
out of his pocket, and gave me a dram of cordial, which he 
had brought on purpose for me. After I drank it, I sat down 
upon the ground; and though it brought me to myself, yet it 
was a good while before I could speak a word to him. 

All this while the poor man was in as great an ecstasy as I, 
only not under any surprise, as I was ; and he said a thousand 



kind tender things to me, to compose me and bring me to my- 
self. But such was the flood of joy in my breast, that it put 
all my spirits into confusion. At last it broke out into tears, 
and in a little while after I recovered my speech. 

Then I took my turn, and embraced him as my deliverer, 
and we rejoiced together. I told him I looked upon him as 
a man sent from heaven to deliver me, and that the whole 
transaction seemed to be a chain of wonders; that such things 
as these were the testimonies we had of a secret hand of Provi- 
dence governing the world, and an evidence that the eyes of an 
infinite Power could search into the remotest corner of the 
world, and send help to the miserable whenever He pleased. 

I forgot not to lift up my heart in thankfulness to heaven; 
and what heart could forbear to bless Him, who had not only 
in a miraculous manner provided for one in such a wilderness, 
and in such a desolate condition, but from whom every deliv- 
erance must always be acknowledged to proceed? 

When we had talked a while, the captain told me he had 
brought me some little refreshment, such as the ship afforded, 
and such as the wretches that had been so long his masters had 
not plundered him of. Upon this he called aloud to the boat, 
and bid his men bring the things ashore that were for the gov- 
ernor; and, indeed, it was a present as if I had been one, not 
that was to be carried away along with them, but as if I had 
been to dwell upon the island still, and they were to go without 

First, he had brought me a case of bottles full of excellent 
cordial waters, six large bottles of Madeira wine (the bottles 


© c 

" At first, for some time, I was not able to answer him one word ; but as he had taken me in his 
arms, I held fast by him, or I should have fallen to the ground " 


held two quarts apiece), two pounds of excellent good tobacco, 
twelve good pieces of the ship's beef, and six pieces of pork, 
with a bag of peas, and about a hundredweight of biscuit. 

He brought me also a box of sugar, a box of flour, a bag 
full of lemons, and two bottles of lime-juice, and abundance of 
other things ; but besides these, and what was a thousand times 
more useful to me, he brought me six clean new shirts, six very 
good neckcloths, two pair of gloves, one pair of shoes, a hat, 
and one pair of stockings, and a very good suit of clothes of 
his own, which had been worn but very little; in a word, he 
clothed me from head to foot. 

It was a very kind and agreeable present, as any one may 
imagine, to one in my circumstances; but never was anything 
in the world of that kind so unpleasant, awkward, and uneasy, 
as it was to me to wear such clothes at their first putting on. 

After these ceremonies passed, and after all his good things 
were brought into my little apartment, we began to consult 
what was to be done with the prisoners we had; for it was 
worth considering whether we might venture to take them 
with us or no, especially two of them, whom we knew to be 
incorrigible and refractory to the last degree; and the captain 
said he knew they were such rogues, that there was no obliging 
them; and if he did carry them away, it must be in irons, as 
malefactors, to be delivered over to justice at the first English 
colony he could come at ; and I found that the captain himself 
was very anxious about it. 

Upon this I told him that, if he desired it, I durst under- 
take to bring the two men he spoke of to make it their own 



request that he should leave them upon the island. "I should 
be very glad of that," says the captain, "with all my heart." 

"Well," says I, "I will send for them up, and talk with 
them for you." So I caused Friday and the two hostages, for 
they were now discharged, their comrades having performed 
their promise ; I say I caused them to go to the cave and bring 
up the five men, pinioned as they were, to the bower, and keep 
them there till I came. 

After some time I came thither, dressed in my new habit; 
and now I was called governor again. Being all met, and the 
captain with me, I caused the men to be brought before me, 
and I told them I had had a full account of their villainous 
behavior to the captain, and how they had run away with the 
ship, and were preparing to commit farther robberies, but that 
Providence had ensnared them in their own ways, and that they 
were fallen into the pit which they had digged for others. 

I let them know that by my direction the ship had been 
seized, that she lay now in the road, and they might see, by and 
by, that their new captain had received the reward of his vil- 
lainy, for that they might see him hanging at the yard-arm; 
that as to them, I wanted to know what they had to say why 
I should not execute them as pirates, taken in the fact, as by 
my commission they could not doubt I had authority to do. 

One of them answered in the name of the rest that they had 
nothing to say but this* that when they were taken the captain 
promised them their lives, and they humbly implored my 
mercy. But I told them I knew not what mercy to show them; 
for as for myself, I had resolved to quit the island with all my 



men, and had taken passage with the captain to go for Eng 
land. And as for the captain, he could not carry them to 
England other than as prisoners in irons, to be tried for mu- 
tiny, and running away with the ship; the consequence of 
which, they must needs know, would be the gallows; so that I 
could not tell which was best for them, unless they had a mind 
to take their fate in the island. If they desired that, I did not 
care, as I had liberty to leave it. I had some inclination to 
give them their lives, if they thought they could shift on shore. 

They seemed very thankful for it and said they would much 
rather venture to stay there than to be carried to England to 
be hanged ; so I left it on that issue. 

However, the captain seemed to make some difficulty of it, 
as if he durst not leave them there. Upon this I seemed a 
little angry with the captain, and told him that they were my 
prisoners, not his ; and that seeing I had offered them so much 
favor, I would be as good as my word; and that if he did not 
think fit to consent to it, I would set them at liberty, as I 
found them ; and if he did not like it, he might take them again 
if he could catch them. 

Upon this they appeared very thankful, and I accordingly 
set them at liberty, and bade them retire into the woods to the 
place whence they came, and I would leave them some fire- 
arms, some ammunition, and some directions how they should 
live very well, if they thought fit. 

Upon this I prepared to go on board the ship, but told the 
captain that I would stay that night to prepare my things, and 
desired him to go on board in the meantime, and keep all right 



in the ship, and send the boat on shore the next day for me; 
ordering him, in the meantime, to cause the new captain, who 
was killed, to be hanged at the yard-arm, that these men might 
see him. 

When the captain was gone, I sent for the men up to me 
to my apartment, and entered seriously into discourse with 
them of their circumstances. I told them I thought they had 
made a right choice; that if the captain carried them away, 
they would certainly be hanged. I showed them the new cap- 
tain hanging at the yard-arm of the ship, and told them they 
had nothing less to expect. 

When they had all declared their willingness to stay, I then 
told them I would let them into the story of my living there, 
and put them into the way of making it easy to them. Ac- 
cordingly I gave them the whole history of the place, and of 
my coming to it, showed them my fortifications, the way I made 
my bread, planted my corn, cured my grapes ; and in a word, all 
that was necessary to make them easy. I told them the story 
also of the sixteen Spaniards that were to be expected, for 
whom I left a letter, and made them promise to treat them in 
common with themselves. 

I left them my firearms, viz., five muskets, three fowling- 
pieces, and three swords. I had above a barrel and half of 
powder left ; for after the first year or two I used but little, and 
wasted none. I gave them a description of the way I managed 
the goats, and directions to milk and fatten them, and to make 
both butter and cheese. 

In a word, I gave them every part of my own story, and I 



told them I would prevail with the captain to leave them two 
barrels of gunpowder more, and some garden seeds, which I 
told them I would have been very glad of. Also I gave them 
the bag of peas which the captain had brought me to eat, and 
bade them be sure to sow and increase them. 

Having done all this, I left them the next day, and went on 
board the ship. We prepared immediately to sail, but did not 
weigh that night. The next morning early two of the five 
men came swimming to the ship's side, and making a most la- 
mentable complaint of the other three, begged to be taken into 
the ship for God's sake, for they should be murdered, and 
begged the captain to take them on board, though he hanged 
them immediately. 

Upon this, the captain pretended to have no power with- 
out me ; but after some difficulty, and after their solemn prom- 
ises of amendment, they were taken on board, and were some 
time after soundly whipped and pickled, after which they 
proved very honest and quiet fellows. 

Some time after this the boat was ordered on shore, the tide 
being up, with the things promised to the men, to which the 
captain, at my intercession, caused their chests and clothes to 
be added, which they took, and were very thankful for. I also 
encouraged them by telling them that if it lay in my way to 
send any vessel to take them in, I would not forget them. 

When I took leave of this island, I carried on board, for 
relics, the great goat-skin cap I had made, my umbrella, and 
my parrot ; also I forgot not to take the money I formerly men- 
tioned, which had lain by me so long useless that it was grown 



rusty or tarnished, and could hardly pass for silver till it had 
been a little rubbed and handled ; as also the money I found in 
the wreck of the Spanish ship. 

And thus I left the island, the 19th of December, as I found 
by the ship's account, in the year 1686, after I had been upon 
it eight and twenty years, two months, and nineteen days, being 
delivered from this second captivity the same day of the month 
that I first made my escape in the barco-longo, from among 
the Moors of Sallee. 

In this vessel, after a long voyage, I arrived in England, 
the 11th of June, in the year 1687, having been thirty and five 
years absent. 


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